Published: Sat, May 18, 2019

Could UK PM Theresa May resign as early as next month?

Could UK PM Theresa May resign as early as next month?

That has prompted a predictable blame game, with the Opposition leader and the Prime Minister both blaming it on their counterparts not knowing what they want out of Brexit.

But with the government in disarray, the issue for Labour was that any new administration would not feel obliged to stick to any agreements reached during talks with May.

Friday, the talks broke down, with Corbyn saying the negotiations "have gone as far as they can" in a letter to the prime minister.

The Government will now focus its efforts on trying to win over rebel Tories and the DUP, while hoping that Labour MPs can be persuaded to back the WAB based on the common ground established during the talks on areas including workers' rights and environmental protections. He later told reporters there was no chance of getting even part of a Brexit deal ratified by the end of July.

Downing Street said it became clear on Thursday night that it would be impossible to reach a full deal with Labour. "That is a fact", he said.

But the Conservatives and the left-of-center Labour differ on how close an economic relationship to seek with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc.

Mired in Brexit deadlock and forced to delay Britain's March 29 exit from the EU, May's Conservatives suffered major losses in local elections this month and are trailing in opinion polls before May 23 European Parliament elections.

Johnson was widely expected to run for the Conservative leadership in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016, but his campaign collapsed before he announced he was standing when an ally withdrew support amid claims he could not unite the party.


May met with her party's 1922 Committee on Thursday, where Chairman Graham Brady described talks as "frank" and that they had agreed that they would meet again after the vote to agree on a timetable for her departure from Number 10. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who campaigned for Brexit and resigned past year over May's handling of negotiations, said on Thursday that he would be a candidate when May steps down.

According to the BBC, the former foreign secretary told a business event in Manchester: "I'm going to go for it".

The government could publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the legislation that enacts May's Brexit deal, before that break.

Labour had initially been seeking to water down this version of "Brexit" even further by establishing a full customs union with the EU, which the Remainer-dominated Tory leadership seemed ready to consider - but subsequent attempts to force May into accepting a "confirmatory vote" (second referendum) as well appear to have been a bridge too far.

Several senior Conservatives are expected to enter the contest for the leadership, with the victor also becoming prime minister.

Pro-Brexit politicians think the withdrawal agreement keeps Britain bound too closely to the EU's rules, while pro-Europeans think it relinquishes numerous benefits of European Union membership.

"Without significant changes, we will continue to oppose the government's deal as we do not believe it safeguards jobs, living standards and the manufacturing industry in Britain", Corbyn concluded.

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