Britain To Vote In EU Parliament Election Despite Brexit

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And Theresa May's team isn't optimistic about a way forward for a deal.

It followed a request from the 1922 Committee for "clarity" on the issue.

While Tory MPs are now powerless to hold another no-confidence motion until December, grassroots activists are planning to hold a vote on her future as soon as 15 June.

The UK had been due to leave the European Union on 29 March, but the deadline was pushed back to 31 October after Parliament was unable to agree a way forward.

May will meet Graham Brady, the chairman of an influential committee of backbench Tory MPs, as there have been calls for a firm resignation date.

"We are playing fast and loose as a party at the moment", he told BBC Radio 4's World at One.

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"We very much hoped that we would be able to get our exit sorted and have the treaty concluded so that those elections did not have to take place".

She is now protected by guidelines that say she can not face another challenge from Tory MPs within 12 months of the previous no-confidence vote, which she won in December.

Incredibly, however, the "resilient" incumbent may not bow to pressure and step aside even in the face of this, with reports indicating that her allies understood to be threatening to take MPs to court to try and stop them from ousting her.

A Tory grassroots revolt has been threatened next month if she does not set out specifics on when she will pack her bags and leave Downing Street.

The vote by members at an EGM of the National Conservative Convention would not be binding, but would add pressure on Mrs May to quit if passed.

One shadow cabinet minister told The Guardian: "Jeremy can not be sure he has the numbers - even if he whipped it - so he can not do a deal without a confirmatory vote". There has been no sign of that so far and colleagues who want to succeed her - and there are many - may not want to be seen to be the ones wielding the knife or to risk sacrificing their own careers.

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May's Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party suffered disappointing results in last week's local elections - with the Conservatives losing 1,334 councillors and Labour failing to make expected gains, instead losing 82 seats.

Leading Eurosceptic Bill Cash also told the Press Association "the time has come" for her to resign.

But Chancellor Philip Hammond defended the cross-party talks, suggesting the government had no other option.

Speaking ahead of talks with senior Labour figures on Tuesday, Mr Lidington said: "Parliament has had several occasions to vote on leaving the European Union".

Media captionConfused by Brexit jargon?

"It's aimed at Conservative supporters who think the prime minister is doing her best to get this over..."

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The Prime Minister wants Jeremy Corbyn to agree a deal within the next 24 hours after both parties were mauled by local election voters last week over Britain's failure to leave the EU.