Brexit: The past seven days

Cross-party talks continued as the campaign for European Parliament elections gathered pace and Theresa May faced fresh calls for her to quit as Prime Minister.

– Days to go

174, if Brexit comes on the latest deadline of October 31. Or 51, if ratification happens in time for the UK to leave on June 30 and avoid the need for MEPs to take up their seats.

– What happened this week?

Talks between the Government and Labour on breaking the Brexit deadlock continued with little sign of substantive progress.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Labour launched its campaign for the looming European Parliament elections as Jeremy Corbyn called on voters to abandon the labels of Leave and Remain and concentrate on what kind of society they want to live in.

Theresa May brushed off renewed Tory calls for her to set a “road map” to resignation in the wake of disastrous council election results as Downing Street made clear the Prime Minister intended to see the first phase of Brexit through.

The Liberal Democrats pitched an uncompromising message to voters with the European campaign slogan “bollocks to Brexit”, with an alternative of “Stop Brexit” for people with more refined sensibilities.

MPs were given a long Whitsun break lasting from May 23 to June 4.

– What happens next?

Cross-party talks are to resume again on Monday as both sides stress that they need to come to a conclusion soon.

Mrs May is set to meet senior figures from the powerful 1922 Committee of backbench Tories to discuss her departure plans.

It is the last full week of the European Parliament election campaign ahead of voting on May 23.

The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt (centre), joins Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable (left) in London during their EU election campaign
The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt (centre), joins Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable (left) in London during their EU election campaign

– Good week

Guy Verhofstadt

The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator and leader of its Liberal bloc, Guy Verhofstadt caused a media stir as he turned up in London to help campaign with the Lib Dems.

Mr Verhofstadt predicted a Remain surge in the Euro elections and insisted he was not interfering in British politics, telling the Press Association: “This is Europe. Europe. It’s all Europe.”

– Bad week

Theresa May

After the worst Tory local election results for nearly a quarter of a century, Mrs May faced a public call from one of her MPs to quit during Prime Minister’s Question Time as backbenchers stepped up demands for her to set a firm date to stand down.

Prime Minister Theresa May (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Prime Minister Theresa May (Andrew Matthews/PA)

– Quote of the week

Brexit-backing Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns told Mrs May she had “failed” in EU withdrawal negotiations and forfeited the trust of the public.

“The public no longer trust her to run Brexit negotiations,” she said.

“Isn’t it time to step aside and let someone else lead our country, our party and the Brexit negotiations?”

– Tweet of the week

European Council president Donald Tusk talked about defending the EU as he suggested there is a 30% chance the UK will remain in the bloc.

I got these gloves and a piece of advice from Romanian goalkeeper legend Helmuth Duckadam on how to better defend Europe.

My press remarks after the #SibiuSummit:

— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) May 9, 2019

– Word of the week


Assessing the Brexit situation, Mr Corbyn said: “Who wants to live in a country stuck in this endless loop?”