Theresa May’s team 'plotting snap general election' for November
“What are you doing in November — because I think we are going to need an election”
Theresa May’s aides are reportedly planning for a snap general election in November to save Brexit and consolidate her position as prime minister.
The news comes amid a war of words between EU leaders and May as they negotiate Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. On Thursday the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, claimed that the Conservative's Chequers plan "will not work" with May saying in a public statement on Friday that "neither side should demand the unacceptable of the other."
Two senior members of May’s Downing Street team reportedly responded to the stall in negotiations by "war-gaming" a November general election, according to the Sunday Times. One of these advisors said during a telephone call: “What are you doing in November — because I think we are going to need an election.”
Members of May's inner circle have also briefed cabinet ministers that the PM will stand down next summer in order to prevent a string of resignations that would likely lead to a Tory leadership contest.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ramped up pressure on May by promising Saturday night that his party will back a People's Vote if delegates vote for the policy at their annual conference that began this weekend. He also called for a snap election. "If this government can't deliver, then I simply say to Theresa May, the best way to settle this is by having a general election," he told the Labour Party conference this weekend.
But the prime minister told Tory MPs to keep “cool heads” and “hold their nerve” on Saturday night in response to call for a second referendum. “These negotiations were always bound to be toughest in the final straight,” she said.
“Many in Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP are trying to thwart Brexit at every step. Some are now openly advocating a second referendum and extending article 50 to delay Brexit, sending us right back to square one.
“Others are talking directly to the EU to undermine the UK’s negotiating position. This is the moment to put our country first.”
The UK's deadline to make a deal on its exit from the EU is March, but May has previously stated that the additional time needed to push legislation through the Commons means a Brexit deal needs to be thrashed out by October.