Pressure mounts on PM Theresa May as govt delays Brexit vote
London, May 23 : Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May remained defiant on Thursday even as the government postponed a crucial Parliament vote on her revised Brexit deal faced stiff opposition from within the Conservative Party.
A UK government whip Mark Spencer told the House of Commons that he would update MPs on the publication and debate of the Brexit Withdrawal Bill after Parliament returns from recess in early June.
It was expected that the bill would be tabled on Friday before the Commons breaks up for the brief recess.
"We will update the House on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess," said Spencer, who was standing in for Andrea Leadsom – the Leader of the Commons who resigned her Cabinet role on Wednesday evening claiming a lack of trust in May's Brexit strategy.
"We had hoped to hold second reading on Friday 7th June. At the moment, we have not secured agreement to this in the usual channels. Of course, we will update the House when we return from recess," Spencer said.
Downing Street issued a statement moments later to stress that the British Prime Minister remains committed to "deliver Brexit".
Speaking after Leadsom's departure from Cabinet, May said she was "sorry to lose someone of passion, drive and sincerity".
Leadsom, in her resignation letter, said May's new Brexit plan had "elements I cannot support, that aren't Brexit".
Her resignation has further shaken up May's already precarious position, with increasing pressure on her to step down following her pledge of a "new deal" on Brexit.
The European Parliament elections being held across the UK on Thursday are seen as a defining moment, when the electorate is expected to use their vote to express their lack of support for the ruling Conservative Party led government's approach to Brexit.
People are turning out to vote for 73 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in an election necessitated because of the UK missing the March 29 Brexit deadline.
It is widely expected that the ruling Tories and the Opposition Labour Party are set to face a drubbing as the electorate use their votes to express their anger over failed Brexit strategies on both sides.
May survived a no-confidence vote of Conservative MPs in December. Under existing rules, she cannot be challenged again until December this year.