Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly planning to bring her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to the House of Commons for a fourth vote in the next two weeks.
Downing Street sources speaking to The Times have indicated that a motivation to bring the vote forward so soon is in reaction to the May 23rd European Parliament elections, where the Tories are set to perform badly. The deal has to be passed this month if the prime minister wants to stop newly-elected MEPs from taking their seats in the EU parliament, with the Brexit Party likely to win over Conservative voters in droves.
It is also believed that focus on a fourth vote would detract from the multiple challenges Mrs May is facing to her leadership, with Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns calling for the prime minister to step down just yesterday, a looming grassroots confidence vote, and a number of attempts by her backbenchers in the 1922 Committee to change party rules to make it easier to force her out.
The prime minister has discussed the plan with senior Conservative Party figures, according to the Financial Times, with the chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady saying, “My understanding is the government’s intention is to bring forward the bill for its second reading before the European elections take place.”
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