London: British Prime Minister Theresa May is being warned by her rebel Cabinet MPs that they will move to oust her within weeks if the UK is forced to participate in the European elections next month and extend its European Union (EU) membership beyond June.
The MPs from the ruling Conservative Party were believed to have become increasingly angry at the prospect of voters being asked to go to the polls to elect Members of European Parliament (MEP) three years after the Brexit referendum, the Guardian reported on Sunday.
The warnings came as the Prime Minister made a last desperate appeal on Saturday night to MPs to back a deal, saying there was an increasing danger Brexit would “slip though our fingers”.
“Because Parliament has made clear it will stop the UK leaving without a deal, we now have a stark choice: leave the European Union with a deal or do not leave at all.
“The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all. It would mean letting the Brexit that the British people voted for slip through our fingers. I will not stand for that. It is essential we deliver what people voted for, and to do that we need to get a deal over the line,” she said.
Following her appeal, Conservative MP Nigel Evans said on Saturday night that if May failed to deliver Brexit and all she could do was secure a long extension at an EU summit on April 10, she would face an overwhelming pressure to step down.
“At the moment there is focus on delivering Brexit, but if a long delay becomes a reality I believe the noises off about removing the Prime Minister will become a cacophony,” he said.
Nigel Adams, a former Minister who quit last week over May’s decision to hold talks on Brexit with opposition Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “Over 170 Conservative MPs including cabinet ministers signed a letter to the Prime Minister last week urging her to ensure the UK does not take part in the European elections. Doing so will not end well.”
On Saturday night, Downing Street said discussions with Labour to find a Brexit compromise that could pass through Parliament before the April 10 EU summit were “ongoing” at a technical level, but declined to be drawn on whether there were any plans to hold votes on Monday or Tuesday, before May heads to Brussels.
The UK is due to leave the EU on April 12 and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by the House of Commons.