Anti-Brexit marchers flood into London, demand new vote

Cheryl Sanders
March 25, 2019

Mr Hammond also announced Parliament would be given the chance to hold indicative votes on alternatives to the PM's Brexit deal this week but said a decision had not yet been made on whether Tories would be granted free votes.

The volume of discontent against Mrs May's leadership has risen after she was forced to request a delay from the European Union from the original March 29 date after failing to get enough parliamentary support for her plans.

He admitted it was "very difficult" to see Theresa May's deal being approved by parliament at the third time of asking and that MPs would now have to choose a way forward. "I think she's been part of the problem for some considerable time".

"Changing Prime Minister wouldn't help us, changing the party in Government wouldn't help us - we've got to address the question of what type of Brexit is acceptable to Parliament". "And if not the Prime Minister's deal, some variant on it that parliament can agree to".

The government is set to publish today its plans for the House of Commons this week.

But two of the leading candidates as caretaker leaders - May's de facto deputy David Lidington and Environment Secretary Michael Gove - backed May on Sunday.

May could present her Brexit plan for a third vote next week, but she has said she would only do that if she was certain it had enough support to win. "I don't think that I have any wish to take over from the PM, I think (she) is doing a fantastic job", he said.

Finance Minister Philip Hammond, when asked yesterday by broadcaster Sky about the reports of a plot to oust Mrs May by senior ministers, said: "No".

'She's betrayed Brexit, destroying our party.

This would trigger a Conservative Party leadership contest whose victor would become the new prime minister. Yet, almost three years since the 2016 referendum, it remains unclear how, when or if Brexit will ever take place.

A day after hundreds of thousands marched in central London to demand another public vote, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said a second referendum, likely to be one of the options put to lawmakers, was a "coherent proposition" that deserves consideration.

With May humiliated and weakened, ministers publicly downplayed any immediate threat to her leadership, insisting she is still in control and the best option is for parliament to ratify her Brexit deal. It was voted down twice in January and earlier this month.

A puppet character depicting British Prime Minister Theresa May is brandished among Anti-Brexit campaigners, during the People's Vote March in London, Saturday March 23, 2019.

Meanwhile, foreign office minister Mark Field said he would support revoking Article 50 - the two year process for leaving the European Union - if it became an option in the event Mrs May's deal was defeated and free votes granted for indicative votes.

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has warned the risk of a general election could be escalated if MPs vote for a softer Brexit next week. Besides, they argue, shouldn't people be allowed to have a say on the actual Brexit deal on the table - isn't that democratic, too?

If Mrs May loses or declines to hold a vote, Britain will have only a few days to decide between leaving with no-deal or coming up with a new plan such as calling a fresh referendum.

British MPs have twice rejected a draft divorce agreement struck between London and Brussels.

Speculation the prime minister will be ousted is at fever pitch, with The Sunday Times reporting 11 cabinet ministers had told them they want Mrs May to move aside and make way for a replacement.

On Tuesday, if MPs vote in favour of the current deal, Brexit could still happen under United Kingdom law on March 29.

The Times reports that several ministers are not pleased by the management of the Brexit process and especially by her speech on March 19th, where she criticized MPs for not passing the deal.

Other reports by iNewsToday