The last days of May? PM faces torrid time as Brexit showdown looms

Theresa May faces a bruising few weeks which could spell the end of her premiership, as she prepares for a vote on her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Wednesday May 22

Mrs May’s regular session of Prime Minister’s Questions will be followed by a Commons statement on her “new Brexit deal”, a package which has already received a hostile response from critics on her own benches.

On Wednesday afternoon, the executive of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers will meet, with pressure again being exerted to change its rules to allow another confidence motion in Mrs May’s leadership.

That gathering will be followed by a full meeting of the ’22, where Tory MPs are expected to air their frustrations.


Thursday May 23

Britons will go to the polls in European elections which Mrs May hoped would never have had to happen, with the Tories braced for an electoral mauling.

The delay to the UK leaving the European Union has handed Nigel Farage the chance to score a major victory, with disgruntled Tories flocking to his Brexit Party.

Sunday May 26 – Monday May 27

The election results will start coming in late on Sunday night and by dawn on bank holiday Monday the scale of Tory reverses will be clear.

A bleak set of election results will be seized on by Mrs May’s critics as a sign that the wider country has lost faith in her leadership.

Tuesday May 28

European Union leaders will gather in Brussels to begin the process of deciding the bloc’s top jobs following the elections.

I call a special #EUCO on 28 May to start the process to nominate the next leaders of the EU institutions. This should be swift, effective and in accordance with our Treaties. If consensus proves difficult, I will not shy away from putting these decisions to a vote in June.

— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) May 9, 2019

Wednesday May 29

The date on which Mrs May will have been in office longer than Gordon Brown.


Monday June 3 – Wednesday June 5

As if Mrs May did not have enough on her hands domestically, US President Donald Trump will make a three-day state visit to the UK.

Mr Trump’s controversial trip to Britain last year proved a tense affair as he appeared to trash the Prime Minister’s Brexit stance in a newspaper interview on the day of his arrival.

The state visit will coincide with a range of national events marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.


Thursday June 6

The Prime Minister will visit Normandy as part of the D-Day commemorations.

Voters will go to the polls in the Peterborough by-election that could see the Brexit Party pull off a political coup in a Westminster seat which had previously been a Labour-Tory marginal.

Friday June 7

The Prime Minister has promised to bring her Withdrawal Agreement Bill to the Commons in the week beginning June 3 and, because of the packed schedule, a Friday Commons sitting could be held to accommodate it.

Whenever the Bill is brought back for its second reading, and whatever the result of the vote, Mrs May then has a date with 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady to set out the timetable for the leadership contest to replace her.