According to reporting by Bloomberg, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is taking a throw of the dice to try and salvage her Brexit withdrawal proposal by intentionally leaving not enough time on the clock for nay-voters to scrape together an alternative plan if they reject her divorce bid.
A Cabinet ally of May’s, speaking on condition of anonymity, put the prime minister’s strategy more charitably, saying that if the deal can’t go through then the only option is to keep talking -- to EU leaders, in the hope they might offer something more, and to lawmakers, in the hope they might ask a little less.
May hopes there will also be pressure on lawmakers over Christmas from voters anxious about a “No Deal” Brexit. That could help to shift some pro-EU lawmakers in her party, and maybe even some in Labour. But unless she can win a significant chunk of the hardline Brexit wing of the Conservative Party, she still won’t have the votes she needs.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, spoke for many rank-and-file Tories when he told reporters on Monday evening that May hadn’t so much avoided defeat as conceded it.
What Rees-Mogg refused to discuss was the question of whether more letters calling for a confidence vote in May’s leadership had gone in from other Conservatives. Forty-eight letters are needed to kick off that process -- and, in spite of a lot of bluster, that threshold has not been met. Yet.
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