Fourty Conservative MPs are threatening to unseat Prime Minister Theresa May, The Times reported on Sunday.
48 MPs are needed to force a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, but the sheer number suggests that Theresa May no longer has control over her parliamentary majority. The 40 MPs are ready to sign a letter calling for a leadership challenge if they manage to get the additional support required.
With Brexit negotiations nearing a profound crisis, the Conservative government is no longer confident of its majority. The UK has been given a deadline to produce definitive answers on the amount of money the government is willing to commit towards a so-called “divorce bill,” the future status of EU citizens, and the Irish border. The call for compromise is in-itself divisive.
Last Thursday, the Financial Times reported that the UK has been given three weeks to commit to a sum significantly higher than the current €23bn on offer. EU negotiators are demanding just under three times this sum.
The foreign secretary Boris Johnson and the environment minister Michael Gove are pushing towards a hard Brexit approach of “no deal,’ the Mail on Sunday reports. Among other things, they insist at a firm end of the two-year transition period – that has yet to be negotiated with the EU – to end in June 2021.
However, Michael Gove told the BBC on Sunday that he would not oppose Theresa May increasing her offer to Brussels in return for a transition deal and trade talks. In principle, Mr. Gove accepts that no EU country is “out of pocket” as a result of the Breit decision.
Mr. Johnson had fewer comments on Brexit as he is under pressure to resign following a foreign policy blunder last week when he made a statement perceived as endangering a British citizen captured by Iran.