Brexit: Stubborn Theresa May 'offers no concessions' despite threat of Cabinet coup

Theresa May is sticking stubbornly to her Brexit Plan A despite fighting for her political survival.

The Prime Minister ploughed on with attempts to finally convince eurosceptic Tory MPs to back her deal.

But she is facing intense pressure from her own party to set out a timetable for her departure first.

The PM today summoned top Brexiteers including Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg to a showdown at her official country retreat.

They told her that to get her deal through she had to set out a clear plan for leaving No 10 to make sure the next stage of Brexit negotiations took place under a different leader.

But one source in the room at Chequers told the Mirror that Mrs May refused to be drawn and offered them “no concessions” to get behind her deal.

Over the weekend there were dramatic reports of an imminent Cabinet coup with Remainer ministers set to tell her to go.

But two senior ministers, David Lidington and Michael Gove, who were cited as potential caretaker leaders rejected the idea today.

Prime Minister at her church early today


Mrs May will face her mutinous Cabinet tomorrow morning to agree a path through the most perilous week of her leadership.

And she is expected to then face further calls to quit as she updates MPs on last week’s humiliating Brussels summit.

A senior No10 insider admitted to the Mirror that Mrs May’s situation was “very precarious”.

They added: “There’s a lot of anger out there and we have a very narrow window to try to make progress”.

At the Chequers talks, Mrs May instead threatened MPs, also including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis, with a softer Brexit unless they fell into line. “It was back my deal or get a softer Brexit,” the source said.

Downing Street has been warning Tory MPs they could even face Brexit not happening at all, in a bid to get them to fall into line.

The EU has given the UK until 12 April to decide on a way forward out of the current deadlock.

A cross-party group of MPs will today try to control of the Brexit process from the Government, with a series of “indicative votes” on the alternative options taking place on Wednesday.

Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin, who is spearheading the move, said he believed enough MPs would back their plans, although it was unclear whether the Government would give MPs a free vote.

Theresa May is facing pressure from within the Conservative party to quit


But Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay warned that the country could face a general election as a result of the “constitutional collision”.

He said: “The risk of a general election increases because you potentially have a situation where Parliament is instructing the executive to do something that is counter to what it was elected to do.”

Downing Street has yet to decide whether it will bring back Mrs May’s vote for a third time, with party whips pouring over the numbers.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The PM and a number of Government ministers met at Chequers for lengthy talks with senior colleagues about delivering Brexit.

“The meeting discussed a range of issues, including whether there is sufficient support in the Commons to bring back a meaningful vote this week.”

Westminster was rocked by reports yesterday that 11 Cabinet ministers wanted the PM to make way for someone else, with Mr Lidington lined up to temporarily take over.

Other reports suggested ministers were plotting to install Mr Gove as caretaker leader.

But Mr Lidington said: “I don’t think that I’ve any wish to take over… One thing that working closely with the Prime Minister does is cure you completely of any lingering shred of ambition to want to do that task”.

Mr Gove added: “It’s not the time to change the captain of the ship, I think what we need to do is to chart the right course.”

Philip Hammond admitted all was not well in the Tory party but accused MPs trying to topple Mrs May of being ”self-indulgent”.

The Chancellor became the most senior minister yet to hint that the option of a second referendum was on the table, saying it was a “perfectly coherent proposition which deserves to be considered” alongside others.

An online petition calling on the Government to cancel Brexit reached five million signatures just after hundreds of thousands of people marched through central London demanding a so-called People’s Vote.

Jeremy Corbyn came under pressure from Remainers for failing to attend the march and instead campaigning in the local elections in Morecambe, Lancashire.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said that Labour could fight a snap general election pledging to hold a public vote on any Brexit deal.

He said the party was now clear that any deal should be subject to a confirmatory vote.

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