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May expected to clarify resignation timetable

Updated May 12, 2019

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to set out her departure plans within days, the leader of backbench lawmakers in her governing Conservative Party said on Saturday. — AP/File
British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to set out her departure plans within days, the leader of backbench lawmakers in her governing Conservative Party said on Saturday. — AP/File

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to set out her departure plans within days, the leader of backbench lawmakers in her governing Conservative Party said on Saturday.

Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 Committee of rank-and-file Conservat­ive MPs, said he expected May to provide clarity on her exit timetable at a meeting with him on Wednesday.

He also said he thought talks between the government and the Labour main opposition on a compromise Brexit deal will flounder within days.

“I find it very hard to see how that route can lead to any sensible resolution,” Brady told BBC radio. Labour is pressing for closer customs alignment with the European Union post-Brexit.

“If the customs union is agreed without a second referendum then half the Labour Party won’t vote for whatever comes through regardless, and if a customs union is agreed then most of the Conservative Party isn’t going to support it,” said Brady.

“So, I can’t see that is a very productive route to follow, and I may be wrong, but I suspect it will peter out in the next few days without having come to any significant conclusion.” May has said she will step aside once a Brexit deal has been passed by parliament.

But the clamour for her to go sooner increased after the May 2 English local elections.

The Conservatives lost control of several local authorities and well over a thousand seats, performing far worse than even the gloomiest predictions as voters vented their frustration over the Brexit impasse.

May has agreed to meet Brady on Wednesday over her resignation plans.

“The 1922 executive has asked her to give that clarity. She has offered to come and meet the executive, which we’ve accepted,” Brady said.

“It would be strange for that not to result in a clear understanding at the end of the meeting.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2019