Brexit: The past seven days
The European election results were a hammer blow to the Tories and Labour, with Westminster’s two main parties picking up just 23% of the vote between them.
So what has happened and what will happen next?
– Days to go
153, if Brexit comes on the latest deadline of October 31.
– What happened this week?
The Tories and Labour suffered humiliation in the European elections, while the Brexit Party emerged as victors and the Liberal Democrats were well placed in second.
In other developments, Boris Johnson is due to be summonsed to court over claims he lied when he said the UK gave the EU £350 million a week during the 2016 referendum.
– What happens next?
US President Donald Trump’s visit could see another intervention on Brexit – he has previously criticised Mrs May’s negotiating strategy and suggested she should have sued the EU.
The Peterborough by-election on June 6 will be a test of whether the Brexit Party can maintain its European election momentum under Westminster’s first-past-the-post voting system.
On June 7 Theresa May will finally resign as Tory leader having been unable to deliver Brexit.
– Good week
Sir Vince Cable
The Liberal Democrats’ strong showing marked their return as a major force following the backlash they faced from voters as a result of the coalition with the Tories.
In 2014 they were reduced to a single MEP but outgoing leader Sir Vince now has 16 MEPs and can end his tenure at the top of the party on a high as “the strongest Remain force in British politics”.
– Bad week
His attempts to appeal to both Leave and Remain voters fell flat as a polarised electorate split between parties offering a clear policy on either leaving the EU or fighting to stay within it.
The Labour leader now faces efforts, spearheaded by his deputy Tom Watson, to back a new policy of supporting a second referendum.
The expulsion of Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell for voting Lib Dem was a sign of the wider split within the Labour ranks over Brexit policy.
– Quote of the week
The Prime Minister attended a meeting in Brussels knowing that, for the first time, Brexit would not be her responsibility.
She said: “It is a matter of great regret to me that I haven’t been able to deliver Brexit.
“But of course that matter is now for my successor and they will have to find a way of addressing very strongly held views on both sides of this issue.”
– Tweet of the week
Alastair Campbell said he was “sad and disappointed” to receive an email throwing him out of the Labour Party.
– Word of the week
European Council president Donald Tusk claimed “Brexit has been a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news” as he responded to the election results across the continent.