++May to resign as PM before next phase of Brexit

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The Guardian reports:

Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will step down as prime minister before the next phase of Brexit negotiations in a bid to get Eurosceptics to back her withdrawal deal.

The prime minister said she would make way for another Conservative leader, after listening to the demands of MPs for a new leadership team.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party. I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations and I won’t stand in the way of that,” May said, according to a transcript released afterwards.

Now she has announced this sword-falling, the ERG Brexiteers are expected to back her deal.

What baffles me is this: The ERG said they didn’t like her deal because of the Irish back-stop.

Now they seem to be saying that the Irish back-stop was not the problem. Theresa May was the problem.

In fairness, the Brexiteers are boxed into a corner, and realise that the Commons taking back control has banjaxed their plans to…..er…..take back control.

This latest news seems a remarkable case of Theresa May actually listening. She has had a remarkably tin ear for the last two years. Her Downing Street speech last Wednesday was utterly ludicrous. – Blaming MPs when she has delayed and delayed giving any modicum of power to the Commons. For example, the “indicative vote” now taking place, should have taken place in Autumn 2016, in my view. It is crazy that it has taken so long to come to this point and it is all the fault of May’s instransigence.

She will go down as the worst UK Prime Minister since….er…..the one before her.

A note of caution from Aubrey Allegretti:

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • marcstevens 27th Mar '19 - 6:42pm

    Yes possibly she is but there have been worse Tory party leaders such as Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith.

  • Ian Patterson 27th Mar '19 - 7:36pm

    Be careful what we wish for at this time!

  • The maths does now look tough with the DUP saying just now that they won’t support MV3 and won’t abstain – i.e. voting against.

    The maths according to ElectionMapsUK spreadsheet is follows:

    May needs 75 more votes (!49 majority against).
    There are 73 Tories who voted against
    63 Hard Brexit
    2 Conservative policy
    2 Soft Brexit
    and crucially 6 Second Referendum (who I guess are unlikely to switch)

    I believe JRM and other ERGers have said they would only vote for May’s deal if the DUP did not vote against.

    On the Labour side – those voting against May included
    4 Hard Brexit
    12 Soft Brexit (unlikely to switch)
    Although there may be some lurking that could switch!

  • Peter Watson 27th Mar '19 - 9:27pm

    I wonder if those Tories who joined the TIGgers might actually have made things worse since they won’t be able to influence the choice of party leader / prime minister for what could be “the second phase of the Brexit negotiations”.

  • richard underhill 27th Mar '19 - 9:59pm

    The Commons were very boorish in trying to shout down Anna Soubry, although she had been called by the Speaker.
    They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • David Becket 27th Mar '19 - 10:14pm

    @ richard
    That is likely to be boorish tories, who cannot behave in a civilised manner. They are not fit to be MPs

  • I just want to say how amazing it is that the fate of the whole country should be in the hands of ten representatives of an extremist, reactionary, fundamentalist cult whose intellectual traditions are still mired in 16th-century bigotry and whose main selling point is that they think that Pope Francis is the Antichrist.

  • Arnold Kiel 28th Mar '19 - 4:12am

    T. May is overestimating the value of her scalp. If her deal is rejected or not voted on this week, she is naturally gone: no Government would survive no deal, and she does not want to ask for and oversee a long extension. Her departure in the case of a GE is also already a given. If her deal passes, the UK will continue to be ungoverned for a year: the EU won’t be ready to resume negotiations before the new Parliament and Commission will be in place and have formed a view. Continued Brexit uncertainty will quickly replace any relief over having averted no deal in the UK. Public discontent will be high, as nobody likes the WA, 39 Billion need to be coughed-up, and this hung Parliament will hardly have the energy or the votes for any meaningful domestic initiative. Why not continue to burn a spent force in No 10 during that period? The DUP certainly has nothing to gain from a hard Brexit MP.

  • From yesterdays late evening news, and the interviews with various fractions of the Tory party, it seems what is most important (to them) is to give T.May a way to declare she (and the Tories) have delivered Brexit and then allow someone new to step in to unravel it all. It does seems the call coming out of the Tory party is: “Sacrificing the country is worth it for party unity”.

  • Peter Hirst 28th Mar '19 - 6:45pm

    It says plenty about the state of politics in this country that our PM uses her offer to resign to help her win a vote in parliament. MPs should be voting on issues not people. How can her resignation make a motion that was unpopular more popular? For many politicians political considerations trump the issue on the ballot paper.

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