British Prime Minister Theresa May (Conservative) postponed a Parliament vote on Monday, “If we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be defeated by a significant margin. We will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time,” May said to the body.
Facing massive critique from her own party and those in opposition, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson has stated a vote will take place prior to the January 21st mandate of the European Union Withdrawal Act. However, no official date has been confirmed by the Prime Minister’s administration.
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The harsh political environment surrounding Brexit led May to leave the United Kingdom on Tuesday to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk.
“We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification,” Tusk said in a tweet on Monday evening. “As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario,” he continued.
Merkel was not also interested in renegotiating the Brexit deal with the United Kingdom, yet Juncker delivered the most adamant response in the plenary of the European Parliament:
There is a surprise guest at the European Council, which is Brexit. I am surprised because we had reached an agreement on the 25th of November, together with the government of the United Kingdom. The deal we have achieved is the best deal possible — it’s the only deal possible… So there is no room whatsoever for renegotiation.
“But there is room, if used intelligently, there is room enough to give further clarification, and further interpretations without opening the Withdrawal Agreement,” Junker declared. “That will not happen. Everyone has to know that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened,” he added. “…We have to prepare. It’s necessary. It’s necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed with Britain, and it is necessary for Ireland. Ireland will never be left alone,” he finished.
Political Fallout For May
Theresa May has been on the hot seat since being handed historic losses by the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party during the June 2017 snap election. May originally called for the elections two months prior in hopes to increase the Conservative majority and politically bury the Labour Party.
With those within the Conservative Party and parties on the left side of the political spectrum now calling for a confidence vote, the likelihood of May being able to withstand the ongoing storm is becoming less likely by the day.
The Prime Minister has shown the willingness to fight, no matter the climate, therefore making any prospects of her stepping down extremely unlikely. However, it’s yet unknown the long-term damage May is doing to the Conservative Party with polls showing the voting populace has yet to completely lose faith in Tory leadership.