Cabinet ministers urge PM to ditch Brexit Bill

Cabinet ministers urge PM to ditch her Brexit Bill

Theresa May has been urged to get rid of her Withdrawal Agreement Bill

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Theresa May has been urged by Cabinet members to scrap her heavily criticised Brexit legislation as speculation mounts about her future.

The prime minister was involved in a "frank" discussion with home secretary Sajid Javid, while foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt made clear he did not believe her Withdrawal Agreement Bill could get through the Commons.

Mrs May will discuss her leadership in a meeting on Friday with 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady amid speculation she could set out the timetable for her exit from Number 10.

The Brexit Bill had been due to be published on Friday but this has been delayed with an announcement due about its timetabling when MPs return from their summer recess on June 4.

Downing Street had previously insisted the Brexit Bill would go before MPs for a vote that week, but it was not announced when the government set out the forthcoming Commons agenda.

The scale of Cabinet concern over the legislation - which led to Andrea Leadsom's resignation on Wednesday night - was made clear by two of Mrs May's most senior ministers.

Mr Hunt is understood to have told the Mrs May to pull the Bill, saying it was clear it would not pass.

It was a "step too far" to ask Conservative MPs to vote for it under those circumstances, the foreign secretary told the Prime Minister.

Mr Javid had a "frank discussion" with the Prime Minister about the plan, making it clear he does not believe the government should be "paving the way" for a second referendum.

However, Mr Hunt said he expected Mrs May to still be Prime Minister when US President Donald Trump visits the UK on June 3.

In response to a question following a speech at the National Cyber Security Centre, he said: "Theresa May will be Prime Minister to welcome him and rightly so."

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