The Times: Conservatives seek to precipitate the fall of May to avoid a second referendum on Brexit | International


This time it sounds like the definitive one. Theresa May seriously consider the idea of ​​submitting his resignation this Friday, after a humiliating meeting with the powerful 1922 Committee, as the newspaper has advanced The Times, although without citing anything more than supposed "allies" of the prime minister. The committee gathers all the conservative deputies who have no office in the Government. They are the majority of the bench, and they have total freedom to act because they are not presumed or require loyalty or voting discipline. If he finally presents his resignation, he will do so 24 hours after an election to the European Parliament (now held throughout the United Kingdom) in which the polls predict a historic debacle for the Conservatives. Officially, the results will not be made public until eleven o'clock on Sunday night, Spanish peninsular time, to respect the votes of the rest of the countries, but there is no doubt that May's environment will have internal knowledge of the tenor of the catastrophe.

The result of the European can be the final shot of the crisis that haunts the Downing Street team, but not the main reason for the predictable May game. That has to be sought in his last and desperate attempt to save his Brexit plan, with the offer of a possible second referendum and a temporary customs union with the EU. They are two assignments to the Labor opposition, in which May has decided to support itself to take forward its text on June 7, which has put the conservative Eurosceptics on the warpath.

In previous circumstances, the revolt of Eurosceptics has been taken for granted and has not endangered the Prime Minister. It already exceeded in December an attempt of motion of internal censorship, and, according to the statutes of the party, no one can try again until a year has passed. But the new circumstances are not normal. The generalized rejection of his new proposal was immediate, and the special gravity of the internal response was reflected in the control session of the Parliament on Wednesday, when half of the cabinet ministers were absent from the plenary session.

Andrea Leadsom, the Minister of Relations with the House of Commons, resigned shortly after. It was May's main rival to the leadership of the tories after the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron, provoked by the outcome of the 2016 referendum. Until now, despite being one of the toughest eurosceptic voices in the government, he had remained faithful. The ordago of the prime minister with the offer of a possible second referendum has been the straw that has filled the glass. Leadsom was responsible, this Friday, to register the new legal text in Westminster, and has opted to resign the position before going against its principles. "I do not believe that the United Kingdom remains a sovereign country after the last offer of pact that has just been offered," he wrote to May in a respectful, but harsh letter of resignation.

The prime minister is cornered and shies away from direct contact with members of her government. Up to three of them, as reported by British media, have tried to talk to her to convince him to withdraw the text, or even to leave the position, according to one or another version. The Minister of the Interior, Sajid Javid; the Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, and the one of Relations with Scotland, David Mundell, have met with the refusal to be heard. The latter has expressed his fear that the idea of ​​a second referendum will stir up the desire for independence in that territory of the Union.

Michael Gove, the Minister for the Environment and one of the future contenders for leadership tory was unable this Thursday, to questions from the media, to ensure that the Government would register in Parliament the new legal text, despite the announcement expressed hours before May itself. By then, internal maneuvers had already begun to prevent it.

The prime minister offered her future resignation in exchange for Westminster approving her Brexit plan. Shortly thereafter, he undertook to put his withdrawal date after that new vote, whatever the outcome. Until now, he had retained control of the times. In the last hours it has become clear that it no longer retains any trace of authority, and that the Conservatives have decided to precipitate a substitution that allows them to take advantage of the remaining calendar until October 31, the last date of the Brexit granted by Brussels, to reverse the situation and recover electoral support.

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