The UK Prime Minister has gathered senior Conservative MPs at the PM’s retreat at Chequers for crunch Brexit discussions.
According to the Deputy Editor of the UK Daily Telegraph, those attending from the Brexiteer side include; Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis and Iain Duncan Smith.
Rumours are growing of Mrs May’s forced departure from the leadership and of accepting a No-Deal Brexit.
Here's the full cast-list for the PM's meeting at Chequers, which is taking place at 3pm:
Iain Duncan Smith
Expect PM to be pushed on timetable for her departure and need to embrace no-deal
— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) March 24, 2019
Sky News also reports that Theresa May’s defacto Deputy leader David Lidington, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, chief whip Julian Lewis, and Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis, also in attendance. Longtime ally to Mrs May, Damian Green, is also attending.
Changing the captain of the ship
On the topic of replacing the Prime Minister, it was initially speculated that Mr Gove or Mr Lidington could be named. Both have subsequently quashed rumours, with Gove saying that he supported the Prime Minister. Lidington said that he would not being interested in taking up the role, instead calling on MPs to support the Brexit deal.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond had said earlier that he was against such a move, calling it ‘self-indulgent,’ at this crucial time.
Speaking earlier to the Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, Hammond said that ‘To be talking about changing the players on the board frankly is self-indulgent at this 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, what type of way forward parliament can agree on so that we can avoid what would be an economic catastrophe of a no-deal exit and also what would be a very big challenge to confidence in our political system if we didn’t exit at all.’
The driveway is filling up at Chequers!
Boris Johnson has just pulled up. The Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay arrived a few minutes before. The PM is meeting cabinet ministers and backbenchers for talks right now. pic.twitter.com/KQoSn5zm0h
— Daniel Hewitt (@DanielHewittITV) March 24, 2019
Former Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith has also express his objection to the decision to replace the Prime Minister, saying that doing so now would mean the UK would be a ‘laughing stock around the world.’
However, Duncan Smith did feel that May’s requesting a delay was, ‘as close to a national humiliation as I’ve seen.’
IDS arriving, roof down and all pic.twitter.com/8sPIad1mLe
— Max Jeffery (@jefferypolitics) March 24, 2019
The Prime Minister had indicated that she would offer MPs the chance to vote on a number of ‘indicative votes’ which helped shape the next stage of the Brexit, from a revoking of Article of 50 to the departure with a No-Deal.
Mrs May subsequently suggested that she may pull the vote from Parliament this week, therefore preventing a third vote at this stage. Her reasoning was the prospect that she may not get her deal through the House of Commons, yet again.
When asked about the notion of a Second Referendum, the Chancellor said there wasn’t a lot of support in the Parliament but suggested that it was a reasonable idea to propose.
‘Many people will be strongly opposed to it, but it’s a coherent proposition and it deserves to be considered along with the other proposals.’
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told the BBC that by allowing Brexit to be decided through indicative vote, this was contrary to what was written in the Conservative manifesto and risked increasing the chances of a general election.
Cancel Brexit Petition reaches 5 million signatures
Meanwhile, the petition calling on MPs to debate the revoking and cancellation of Brexit has reached 5 million signatures.