Theresa May faces calls to quit after Brussels Brexit delay humiliation

Prime Minister Theresa May giving a statement in the House of Commons. Credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor /PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May giving a statement in the House of Commons. Credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor /PA Wire
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The Prime Minister was challenged to step down and accused by her own backbenchers of betraying the 2016 referendum result, with one dubbing her Brussels performance an act of “abject surrender”.

Late on Thursday evening, Mrs May agreed to extend Brexit negotiations until October 31, despite having pleaded with EU chiefs to grant a much shorter delay until the end of June.

And as she faced MPs in the House of Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister was met with frustration from Brexiteers over the postponement.

Conservative backbencher and influential Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash challenged Mrs May over whether she understood the level of “anger” across the country, having “broken promises 100 times” on not pushing back the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In a confrontational move, he added: “Will she resign?”

Tory former minister Mark Francois added to the barrage of criticism, accusing her of “sheer obstinacy” for agreeing to a further delay to try to get her Withdrawal Agreement passed after several failures.

Ahead of the Commons row, former Brexit Secretary and Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis added to the Prime Minister’s woes, telling the BBC that the latest Brexit extension could signal the end of her spell in Downing Street.

He said: “I think what is likely to happen is the pressure for her to go will go up.

He added: “The pressure on her to go will increase dramatically, I suspect, now.

“Whether it will come to anything - who knows?”

Asked if Mrs May could still be Prime Minister at the time of the Tory conference, which will take place this autumn, Mr Davis said: “I think it is going to be difficult because by that time we will have had a European election which will become a plebiscite, really, on Brexit.

“And I suspect you will see a very successful rise of a, sort of, Brexit movement, the Nigel Farage thing, and so on.

“So, that will be quite difficult. I think it will be very difficult for her. So, the pressure on her will grow.”

However, Mrs May has already survived a no confidence vote from her own party, which technically safeguards her position until December this year.