This has the hallmarks of a co-ordinated campaign on the part of the European Research Group – headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg – after David Davis, the veteran Haltemprice and Howden MP, quit as Brexit Secretary just over a week ago and others followed suit.
Yet, with former Cabinet minister Justine Greening, a prominent Remain supporter, now breaking ranks and making the case for a second referendum, Mrs May’s position becomes more invidious with each passing day and Ministerial resignation.
If Mrs May redrafts her White Paper to appease her Eurosceptics, she will be accused of weakness. As such she had to accept their trade amendments last night. If she doesn’t act, however, she’s at the mercy of Labour if there’s to be any chance of her strategy being backed by MPs once the EU has eked out further concessions.
However, while a seemingly straightforward ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ vote in 2016 meant a close result was always going to be open to interpretation, and political events of the past two years are testament to this, the public did not vote for the chaos and confusion which has seen the whole business of government slow to a virtual standstill.
They expected Ministers – and Opposition parties – to work together, in the national interest, to come up with a practical and pragmatic strategy rather than rerunning the referendum. Yet, with Westminster paralysed by political deadlock on all sides and time running out, the likelihood of Britain leaving the EU next March with no deal in place is increasing by the hour, a scenario which has the potential to bring down Mrs May, split the Tory party and hand power to Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn at the ensuing election. Is that what the Conservatives really want?