Prime Minister Theresa May is to face an ultimatum on Monday’s Cabinet meeting where she will be urged to come up with an alternative to her Chequers plan or face resignations, according to sources speaking to The Telegraph.
The Monday cabinet meeting, initially scheduled to discuss the country’s immigration policy, is tipped to be dominated by the Salzberg meeting that occurred late last week, where the European Union’s 27 other leaders and the bloc’s top Eurocrats rejected the Chequers proposal for a soft Brexit, mocked Prime Minister Theresa May, and urged the country to vote again.
Cabinet ministers are believed to be asking Mrs May to provide a ‘Plan B’ or face resignations, with one source telling The Telegraph: “Monday is the crunch point. That’s when every Cabinet minister will have to look again and reassess like Boris [Johnson] and David Davis did.”
“Everybody will want something that can be delivered. We have to have a ‘Plan B’ now – ‘Plan A’ is out of the window.”
The newspaper reports speculation that Work and Pensions secretary Esther McVey, who voted to Leave in the referendum, may walk out of the meeting if there is no Plan B offered.
'We cannot accept anything that threatens the integrity of our union': Defiant PM May blasts EU attitudes to Brexit after difficult Salzburg meeting https://t.co/ZSEeK8BjcR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 21, 2018
There was also speculation that fellow Brexit supporter International Development secretary Penny Mordaunt was set to resign ahead of Tory Party conference over Chequers, but friends had reportedly denied those claims.
However, Ms Mordaunt tweeted Friday: Speaking to constituents today, it is clear that EUs behaviour in recent days is increasing support for us leaving the EU.
“[People] still want a deal but content to go without one, even folk who voted remain.”
Neither McVey nor Mordaunt have publicly endorsed the Chequers plan — which keeps the UK tied to some EU rules — 11 weeks after it was officially backed by the Cabinet.
The source also said that the Prime Minister may be asked to replace key EU advisers, including Remainer Olly Robbins.
In terms of whether Mrs May would resign, the source said: “I would be very, very surprised, because they could end up taking it. You can’t do something like that and not know the outcome.”
Mrs May addressed the British public Friday, appearing emboldened against the EU and implied that the UK was closer to a no deal and a clean break because of the bloc’s intransigence.
Negotiations “were always going to be tough” but are now at an impasse, the Prime Minister said, adding that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
The Three Brexiteers: Farage, Hoey, Davis Launch Campaign to ‘Chuck Chequers’ and Save Brexit https://t.co/nXyJH3JsQe
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 22, 2018
Tory Brexiteer and chairman of the Eurosceptic European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Prime Minister had shown “steely resolve at the eleventh hour and is standing up to the EU bullies”.
Mrs May also found surprise support from former UKIP Nigel Farage on Saturday over the personal attacks she faced at the hands of Eurocrats.
“I may not be Theresa May’s biggest fan, but I tell you what: I’ll be damned if I should allow foreign, unelected bureaucrats — people who have power without accountability — to treat our Prime Minister like that!” he said at a Leave Means Leave rally.
His sentiments were backed by former Brexit secretary David Davis, who joined Mr Farage and Labour Brexiteer Kate Hoey in Bolton to campaign for a clean Brexit with a free trade deal, who said that he “view[ed] the behaviour of the European leaders in Salzburg with contempt”.
“Disrespect our Prime Minister and you disrespect our country,” Mr Davis added.