Politics update: Pressure grows for May to make progress on Brexit deal before Wednesday deadline

Politics update 08.04.2019

May faces growing pressure as Wednesday’s deadline looms

Theresa May and Donald Tusk
Theresa May and European Council president Donald Tusk

Theresa May is facing growing pressure from critics in her own party, as she attempts to avoid seeking a long delay to Brexit due to a lack of options for moving forward.

By Wednesday the prime minister will have to provide the European council with a good reason for extending the deadline for exiting the EU past the 12 April. However, the government’s talks with Labour seem unlikely to provide enough of a compromise this week.

Additionally, whilst the prime minister prefers seeking an extension up to the end of June, allowing Britain to leave without having to take part in EU elections, Brussels appear uncomfortable with the idea.

Leaders have already rejected the idea of a 30 June extension once before, preferring instead the idea of a long extension, which this weekend French president Emmanuel Macron said would allow Britain to “really figure out what it wants”.

Video: May warns parliament must agree a deal

Tory Brexiteers lash out at May over Labour meetings

Jacob Rees Mogg European Research Group
European Research Group leader Jacob Rees-Mogg

Eurosceptic Tory MPs have lashed out at Theresa May for seeking a compromise with the Labour party on her Brexit deal, calling the move “disastrous for the nation”.

On Sunday, Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group – a leading Eurosceptic group, told Sky News: “I think having Jeremy Corbyn as part of the Brexit process is a mistake – that he is not sympathetic to the government, obviously, and is a Remainer.”

Dominic Raab, the former Brexit secretary, said that the prime minister’s decision to hold talks with the opposition party “threatens to damage the Conservatives for years”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Raab said: “This is a major mistake – bad for Brexit, bad for the Tory party and potentially disastrous for the nation. Mrs May must change course, and quickly. Mr Corbyn, remember, has no serious interest in securing an effective Brexit.

“If the PM bends to Mr Corbyn’s whims now, we can kiss goodbye to the opportunities Brexit offers us. Indeed, there would be no way of taking back control of our laws from Brussels and Strasbourg. We would be stuck with the freedom of movement of people, with no control of our borders. And we would give up the right to strike global free trade deals with fast-growing and emerging economies, which would help create more jobs here as well as cutting the cost of living.”

Labour Jewish members brand party leadership ‘antisemitic’

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Jewish Labour members have declared that the party leadership is ‘antisemitic’ in a damning vote against party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

At the group’s annual general meeting on Sunday, it accused Mr Corbyn of having “condoned antisemitism and antisemites”, passing a motion which states that the party leadership had “presided over a culture of antisemitism”.

The motion reads: “The leadership of the Labour Party have demonstrated that they are antisemitic, and have presided over a culture of antisemitism in which they have failed to use their personal and positional power to tackle antisemitism, and have instead used their influence to protect and defend antisemites.”

“Jeremy Corbyn is directly responsible, whether through his own actions, where he appears to have condoned antisemitism and antisemites, or through his inaction to tackle the wider problem within the party.”

Share this


Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.