British PM May battles to keep control of Brexit

British Prime Minister, Theresa May
British Prime Minister, Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday battled to keep control of Britain’s exit from the European Union as some in her party called on her to quit.

The parliament, however, plotted to wrest the Brexit process away from her government.

At one of the most important junctures for the country in no less than a generation, British politics was at fever pitch and, almost three years since the 2016 EU membership referendum.

Meanwhile, it was still unclear how, when or if Brexit will take place.

With Mrs May weakened, ministers lined up to insist she was still in charge and to deny any part in, or knowledge of, a reported plot to demand she name a date to leave office.

As speculation swirled around Mrs May’s future, parliament prepared to try to take control of the Brexit process from the government in a series of votes due from 2200 GMT.

“May’s divided cabinet of senior ministers met on Monday to discuss a way forward,’’ Mrs May’s spokesman said, though contradictory reports of the discussions, which are supposed to remain private, were swiftly published on Twitter.

“The PM opened by suggesting that “no deal’’ is not a viable option.

“Other ministers said no deal is better than no Brexit.

“Other reports said her cabinet war-gamed an election,” the Daily Telegraph’s deputy political editor Steven Swinford reported.

Amid the chaos, it was unclear when May would bring her divorce deal back to parliament.

The deal Mrs May negotiated with the EU was defeated in parliament by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on January 15.

“We will only bring the vote back if we believe that we would be in a position to win it,” Mrs May’s spokesman said, declining to comment on whether it would take place on Tuesday.

Mrs May had to delay Britain’s original March 29 departure date because of the deadlock in London.

Now, the country will leave the EU on May 22 if May’s deal is approved by parliament this week.

If not, Britain will have until April 12 to offer a new plan or decide to leave without a treaty.

(Reuters/NAN)

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