Theresa May to demand time for Brexit deal in showdown talks with key Tories

Theresa May will ask for more time to deliver her Brexit deal in showdown talks on her future with Tory chiefs.

She is expected to tell the Tory backbench 1922 committee that key laws must be passed by the summer break for the UK to leave the EU when they meet at Number 10 tomorrow.

Senior Tories want the Prime Minister to set a timetable for her departure from No 10 even if Brexit remains unresolved.

She has promised to stand down when the first phase of Brexit is done but has resisted naming a date for her departure.

But MPs on the 1922 executive could take matters into their own hands and change party rules to allow another confidence vote.

Rebel MPs have warned that Mrs May faces defeat when she tries to get the withdrawal agreement bill through Parliament.

Parliament is expected to get a vote, possibly on 5th June, the same week as Donald Trump’s visit and the Peterborough by-election.

Top ministers yesterday admitted it would be the end of the road for her Brexit deal if it is rejectd for a fourth time.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I think if the House of Commons does not approve the WAB then the (Brussels chief Brexit negotiator Michel) Barnier deal is dead in that form.”

Mrs May’s spokesman refused to rule out giving MPs a fifth vote on the deal.

But No 10 admitted the bill could end up becoming a confidence vote in her already fragile premiership.

“That’s not the world we’re currently in but clearly the significance of this piece of legislation can’t, and won’t, be underestimated,” a spokesman said.

Brexit deal for Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned rebel MPs that failing to deliver a Brexit deal would leave the UK facing a choice of No Deal or stopping Brexit completely – and that MPs should consider the consequences.

But MPs were resisting pressure to support the PM’s plan – with Labour insisting they would not do so unless there were concessions.

A senior Labour spokesman raised alarm among some of his own MPs by refusing six times to rule out speculation the party could abstain on the bill at second reading, which could be enough for it to pass.

But Labour sources later played down the chances of Jeremy Corbyn doing anything other than ordering his MPs to vote against it.

Nigel Dodds of the hardline DUP said it was “highly likely” the deal would be defeated again unless the PM could “demonstrate something new” that addressed the problem of the controversial Irish border backstop.

And Tory Brexiteer Peter Bone called on the PM to quit before next week’s European elections as he read out a letter from his local Conservatives at PMQs .

Remain-backing Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs said they would vote down any agreement unless it had a referendum attached, while the SNP has said their 35 MPs would oppose.

The PM’s husband, Philip May, was phone canvassing at Tory HQ ahead of next week’s European elections on Tuesday night.

Yet Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis has told candidates they stand no chance of winning a seat unless they are already an MEP, signalling Tory fears of a wipe-out.

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