Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Senior Conservatives tell May to ditch Brexit talks with Labour

Theresa May Leaves For PMQs May has said she will stay on as PM until a Brexit deal is passed
Patty Aguilar | 14 May, 2019, 18:10

"The team that Mr Robbins ran clearly didn't negotiate". However, with public feeling on Brexit high, it could be far higher this time round; around 49 per cent of respondents to a YouGov poll earlier this month said they were certain to vote, with only 13 per cent adamant that they would not.

The Conservative grassroots revolt against Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit policy is opening the door for a likely stunning performance at the polls by Nigel Farage's newly-minted Brexit Party.

"I don't think anyone's in any doubt these are going to be hard elections for us", Damian Hinds, the education minister in Prime Minister May's Cabinet, told the BBC Sunday. Priti Patel, a former Cabinet Minister who is critical of the withdrawal agreement as it stands, labelled the campaign "desperate" and "appalling" and an attempt to undermine Prime Minister Theresa May's critics.

The European elections are set to take place on May 23 and a poll has already predicted Mr Farage's new party could push the Conservatives into fifth place among the electorate. Such a referendum would infuriate hardline Brexit supporters who would want to see a "no deal" option put to the voters.

Two parties which support staying in the European Union, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, were on 15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

Mrs May's spokesman said the government was prepared to hold "definitive votes" once Labour's support is secured.

On May 23, British citizens and European and Commonwealth citizens resident in the United Kingdom will vote to select 73 candidates for the European Parliament, who will take up their seats in July for a five-year term.

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The inability to agree on a way forward led the United Kingdom to miss its 29 March deadline for leaving the European Union - the current date for departure is 31 October.

Labour, which is running second in the polls, is also being tested by the elections.

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who also signed the note, said today he would rather stay in the EU than sign up to the customs union after Brexit - and urged the Prime Minister to sack off talks with Mr Corbyn now.

Senior figures from both parties met again last night, but the gulf between them appears to be growing with Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer warning that an agreement was "impossible" without a "confirmatory vote".

Britain was due to have left the European Union on March 29, though May has been unable to get her divorce deal approved by parliament so she has turned to the Labour Party, led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn, in a bid to court his support.

The Conservatives and Labour are engaged in cross-party negotiations to try to break the Brexit deadlock in the House of Commons and come up with a new Brexit deal.

Last month Jeremy Corbyn saw off an attempt to commit the party to a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal, and Labour will instead only back a fresh vote only if it can not either win the changes it wants to Mrs May's deal or secure a general election.

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