British Prime Minister Theresa May has been fielding increasing calls for her resignation recently. So far, May has remained adamant that she would stay in office, to implement the 2016 referendum result, and make Brexit happen. But as of Thursday, May 23rd, rumours are growing about her imminent departure, which makes it seem more and more likely that May’s premiership is nearing its end.
The day before, on Wednesday May 22nd, Conservative legislators set up a showdown meeting with May for Friday, May 24th, giving her less than 48 hours to announce she will go, or face a renewed attempt to oust her, AP reported.
After cross-party talks with the opposition Labour party broke down without bringing the hoped-for compromise last week, May revealed that tweaks had been made to her original Withdrawal Agreement. When May visited the House of Commons to discuss her new bill, she urged them to “compromise” and support the deal.
One of the concessions made was a promise to give Parliament a vote on whether to hold a new referendum on Britain's EU membership — something May had previously ruled out.
"I have compromised. Now I ask you to compromise too," she said, and reminded her fellow legislators, "we need to see Brexit through, to honour the result of the referendum and to deliver the change the British people so clearly demanded."
If Parliament rejected her deal, she said: "all we have before us is division and deadlock."
May plans to bring her new and slightly altered deal forward again for a vote in Parliament in early June.
So far, there was little sign her plea was being heeded. Pro-Brexit Conservatives accused May of capitulating to pro-EU demands, while opposition Labour Party members dismissed her offer as too little, too late.
"The rhetoric may have changed but the deal has not," said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. "She did not seek a compromise until after she had missed her own deadline to leave, and by the time she finally did, she had lost the authority to deliver."
Leader of the House of Commons and senior Cabinet minister, Andrea Leadsom, quit her position amid the tense atmosphere in Parliament and wrote an open letter directed at May. Leadsom alleged there had been "a complete breakdown of collective responsibility" in government, and said May's Brexit plan would not "deliver on the referendum result" that saw voters in 2016 opt to leave the EU.
Meanwhile, the government is attempting to continue with business as usual as much as they can. Reuters reported government whip Mark Spencer as saying the legislation to enact prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal would be published in the week beginning June 3rd.
May acknowledged all the circulating speculation, when she told lawmakers, "in time, another prime minister will be standing at this despatch box." But, she told Parliament, "in the end our job in this House is to take decisions, not to duck them.”
Even though the British media is almost unanimously declaring that the end is nigh for May at this point, the prime minister made a clear statement. "I will put those decisions to this House. Because that is my duty and because it is the only way that we can deliver Brexit."