Theresa May hunkers down as premiership enters its end stage
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May was hunkered down with close allies on Thursday as she considered whether to give in to relentless pressure to resign or fight on to save her Brexit plan and her premiership.
May was due to meet senior ministers to discuss her Brexit bill as plans to put it to a vote in Parliament were thrown into doubt.
May’s fate looked sealed after the resignation late Wednesday of House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, who said she could not support May’s European Union withdrawal bill.
Leadsom had been due to announce in the Commons on Thursday when a vote on the bill would be held.
But Leadsom said May’s Brexit plan did not “deliver on the referendum result” that saw voters in 2016 opt to leave the EU.
“No one has wanted you to succeed more than I have, but I do now urge you to make the right decisions in the interests of the country, this government and our party,” Leadsom wrote in a resignation letter to May.
May moved quickly on Thursday to replace Leadsom with former Treasury minister Mel Stride.
But she was forced to delay plans for the bill, which is May’s fourth and likely final attempt to secure Parliament’s backing for her Brexit blueprint.
The draft legislation contains measures aimed at winning support from the opposition, including a promise to let Parliament vote on whether to hold a new EU membership referendum.
That concession was the final straw for many Conservative lawmakers and ministers, who are urging May to scrap the bill.