Calls for Theresa May’s resignation intensified yesterday with Mark Francois’ demand for an “indicative vote” on the parliamentary party’s confidence in the prime minister.
Questions about May’s future continued to be asked throughout the day with the leadership of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee visiting Downing Street, but chairman Graham Brady confirmed that there were no plans to hold Francois’ vote.
With local elections less than a month away, failing to depose one of the most unpopular leaders in modern history might soon prove to have been a massive tactical error. According to one source, the frosty meeting between May and the 1922 concerned voter opposition to May personally: “the universal message was to say ‘a lot of anger from the doorsteps is now coming back on her as opposed to the party’. The mood has changed. It has actually changed. The mood originally was, she is soldiering on, she is trying to do things. It was put to her the fact of it now turning to her being the problem.”
And even worse for the pro-EU elite at the heart of the Conservative Party, European elections on May 23 – which the Conservative Party now admits, to prospective candidates, that they will indeed be fighting – look set to deliver an even worse clobbering with The Brexit Party overtaking UKIP and the Tories with the bookies before campaigning has even started.
Instead May remains in place unscathed, and is today heading to the continent to grovel to Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel for yet another delay to Brexit.
Macron, dubbed in today’s Telegraph a “Poundland de Gaulle”, has consistently opposed an accommodating approach for Britain and continues to fuel speculation that he could block a further Brexit extension. He caved last time around, unlike General de Gaulle, so time will tell…
The EU continues to talk a big game, demanding a plan of action from May before granting an extension. It is well known that Donald Tusk is keen on a one year delay, and as May moves closer to a Customs Union sellout to win Labour votes, the key players in Europe will inevitable support an extension with the ultimate prize of British vassalage.
Even members of May’s own government are reaching breaking point, with trade secretary Liam Fox writing to colleagues yesterday to warn against a customs deal.
Fox rightly points out that “we would be stuck in the worst of both worlds, not only unable to set our own international trade policy but subject, without representation, to the policy of an entity over which MPs would have no democratic control… we would ourselves be traded. As the famous saying in Brussels goes, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.”
Which raises the question: if Fox knows how bad a customs deal would be, why is he refusing to quit a government that is rapidly moving towards that position?
Yesterday @Theresa_May had a chat with you on her sofa.
She was lying again. Here is what the PM didn't tell you… pic.twitter.com/jI4IzgdBcs
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) April 8, 2019