Brexit LIVE: End of Theresa May – 40-50 Tory chairmen in plot to OUST PM in shock new coup

Mrs ’s days as Prime Minister may abruptly end thanks to a no-confidence vote which could be unexpectedly triggered by the National Conservative Convention, which represents the grassroots movements. Party chairmen are circulating a petition calling for an “extraordinary general meeting” which will have to be held if signed by more than 65 association chairmen. Between 40 and 50 party chairmen have already signed it. Dinah Glover, the East of London area chairman, has organised the petition addressing Mrs May as no longer the “right person” to lead the country out of the European Union. 

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Speaking about the ousting attempt, Ms Glover said this would be the first extraordinary meeting ever held by the party – and could take place as soon as next month.

She told the Daily Telegraph: “There is a lot of frustration and anger within the party, we have to demonstrate those feelings so we can encourage MPs to make those feelings known.”

The meeting would not only make chairmen’s “feelings known” to MPs but also help them “understand the level of anger, not only in the voluntary party but across the elected members as well. 

“What we need is a new leader who can break the impasse, who passionately believes that Britain has a bright future.”

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Theresa May could be ousted as Prime Minister as early as next month (Image: GETTY)

The petition launched by Ms Glover reads: “Almost three years since we voted to leave and after two extensions to the original departure date, we no longer feel that Mrs May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.

“We therefore with great reluctance ask that she considers her position and resigns, to allow the Conservative Party to choose another leader, and the country to move forward and negotiate our exit from the EU.”

Mrs May survived a no confidence vote in Parliament in December.

Under the party’s rules, her leadership can’t be challenged again by MPs until the end of 2019, but Tories fed up with her handling of Brexit are exploring other ways to force her out.

Another option believed to be discussed by MPs is for them to change the rules for electing party leaders to allow a new no-confidence vote before December 2019.  

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2.20pm update:

Former Prime Minister claimed it wouldn‘t be “unreasonable” to hold another referendum on Brexit three years after the EU Referendum. 

He said: “I think it is possible now.

“I think, finally, the Prime Minister will pivot towards putting the proper options before Parliament and once that happens,  is going to say ‘ok, we may decide the form of Brexit but the people should have the final say in a confirmatory referendum.’

“We’ve had three years of experiencing what Brexit really means, you’ve got this mess.”

He added: “With this magnitude of the decision it is not unreasonable to say to people ‘do you want to think again?’”

2pm update:  

German customs officers are scrambling to create a Brexit emergency plan without knowing what the UK’s future relationship will be with the European Union. 

Bielefeld customs office in the North Rhine region is one company that has drawn up an emergency plan on how to handle goods coming in and out of region after Brexit.

Kirsten Schüler, the Bielefeld customs office spokeswoman, said Brexit was disrupting plans, with no one sure when the UK will actually leave the EU. 

Kirsten Schüler, the Bielefeld customs office spokeswoman, said: “The worst is actually that we do not know what to expect.”

1.25pm update:  

‘s Brexit Party could be in for a shock win at the upcoming European election if the UK were forced to take part in the Brussels vote, with a top pollster showing the eurosceptic movement being already just one percentage point behind the Conservative Party.

YouGov political research manager Chris Curtis believes the UK is set for “another Farage-shaped upset” in next month’s European election. He wrote in the Guardian: “It is entirely plausible that we are facing another Farage-shaped upset at the ballot box. While there are more than five weeks of campaigning to go, I certainly wouldn‘t bet against him.”

If the election had taken place over the past weekend, the Brexit Party would have come in third with 15 percent of the votes, according to a YouGov survey which was carried out between April 10 and 11 on 1,843 voters.

Some 24 percent of voters said they would choose the Labour Party and only 16 percent of British citizens expressed a preference for the .

12.28pm update: The public may have changed idea on Brexit just like MPs do ‘every two or three minutes‘ 

Naomi Long, the leader of Northern Ireland‘s Alliance Party, has called for another Brexit referendum saying it is the best way to end the Brexit deadlock – and that people are entitled to change their minds over three years. 

She said: “If MPs can change their minds every two or three days or every two or three minutes, I see no reason why the public cannot be afforded that opportunity every two or three years.” 

Naomi Lang called for a second Brexit referendum (Image: GETTY)#mycountrytalks-embed{border-width:0;margin-top:1.5em;margin-bottom:1.5em}

12.10pm update: Brexit uncertainties ‘hamper‘ housing market

Annual house price growth has slowed to the lowest annual rate seen in close to seven years, dragged down by year-on-year price falls in London and the south-east of England, official figures show.

Across the UK, house prices increased by 0.6 percent in the year to February, slowing down sharply from a 1.7 percent annual increase in January.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club said the figures “very much fuel the overall impression that the housing market is being hampered as buyer caution amid already challenging conditions is being reinforced by recent heightened and economic uncertainties, although there are significant variations across regions with the overall picture being dragged down by the weakness in London and the South East”.

He continued: “We suspect house prices will rise only 1% over the year and would not be at all surprised if they stagnate.

“Consumers may well be particularly cautious about committing to buying a house, especially as house prices are relatively expensive relative to incomes.

“Also it looks questionable whether the labour market and earnings growth will sustain their recent improvement.”

11.35am update:

Austrian MEP Monika Vana blasted the 27 remaining EU members’ decision to extend the Brexit deadline to October 31 as “completely absurd”.

She told MEPs yesterday during one of the final European Parliament sessions before the election Britain was “continuing to blackmail the EU”. 

She told MEPs: “The British had three years, they are effectively blackmailing the EU.

“It is absurd for the British people to participate in the EU elections.”

Brexit timeline: Important dates (Image: EXPRESS)

10.50am update: The UK will LIKELY be forced to take part in the European election – former Downing Street legislation chief 

The UK may be forced to take part in the European election in May as there is not much time to get the legislation passing through Parliament – and Remainers may try to obstruct it to delay Brexit, a former Downing Street legislation chief has warned. 

Nikki da Costa said it was “possible” for the draft withdrawal agreement bill to be passed quickly but she doesn‘t think it would happen by May 22. 

She said: “When the Government says ‘if MPs vote for the deal’ they have actually specified further that that means actually passing the legislation associated with that. 

“If the Government decide to wait until after the local elections which seems likely so you would start on Monday, the 6th, then you have only got two weeks to pass it – at the outside you might have four weeks to do this.

“It is going to be extraordinarily tight and that is going to require not only having a majority for whatever is being proposed but a majority to also say ‘let’s go at that pace and we are just as motivated as the Government is to avoid those European elections’.

“There’s a lot of variables there and I think it is less likely that that actually is going to happen.” 

Ms da Costa said the bill was not “simple” and represented “serious constitutional legislation” with controversial elements.

“There are quite difficult things in there and the question becomes if MPs have come to an agreement on this, are they equally happy to see that legislation go through fast and then… are the peers happy for it to go through at that pace?

“Everyone is going to have to basically agree that they would do every stage of the bill back to back and really truncate the amount of time for scrutiny of the legislation.”

10.25am update: Scotland‘s economy to suffer a ‘significant contraction‘ in case of a no deal Brexit

Economists have predicted the impact of a no-deal Brexit could cause a “significant contraction” in the Scottish economy. 

The Fraser of Allander Institute modelled several possible Brexit outcomes and the impact in its latest economic commentary.

The research institute‘s worst-case scenario was a no deal Brexit with no policy response, which it predicted would cause an overall economic downturn of -2.1 percent in 2019.

This predicts a “significant contraction” in the Scottish economy in the second half of 2019 of around 5.5 percent.

In this scenario, the economy could shrink by 1.5 percent in 2020 before returning to positive growth of 1.4 percent by the following year.

But this model assumes the Bank of England would not have a policy ready to tackle the consequences of a no deal Brexit which, the institute said, is “not very realistic”.

10am update: Sir Vince Cable wants all Remain-backing parties to ‘fight together‘

Sir Vince Cable, the leader of the Lib Dem, said Remain-backing parties should all “fight together under the same banner” in the upcoming European elections. 

He told the Today programme: “So, there‘s a variety of different parties offering the same message, something which is possible under the proportional voting system that we have.

“No, it‘s not crazy, I mean it would be better, I think, from the point of view of the supporters of British membership of the EU if we were fighting together under the same banner, and certainly that‘s something we would like to have seen, but that wasn‘t possible, we didn‘t get a positive reaction to that, so we are going on our own.” 

Sir Vince also said the Lib Dems were the “strongest and best organised” of the Remain parties.

Sir Vince Cable called for all Remain-backing parties to run together at the European election (Image: GETTY)

9.30am update: Theresa May won‘t be able to deliver Brexit before May 22, experts say

Theresa May won‘t be able to pass the withdrawal agreement bill on time to prevent the UK from taking part in the European elections, according to experts. 

Joe Owen, programme director at the Institute for Government, told the Independent: “It looks highly unlikely the Government will be able to pass the withdrawal agreement bill by the end of May, given the political challenge facing the Prime Minister.” 

Dr Alan Wager, a researcher for the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, expressed a similar opinion, saying: “It’s likely to take several months to pass the bill, given how long comparable legislation has taken to pass historically.

“Looking at the window before the European elections, which is three weeks maximum after the Easter recess, there is no way MPs are going to agree to that, no chance of that whatsoever.” 

9am update: Conservative Party‘s treasurer to ‘reach into his own pocket‘ for fundings as donors go on STRIKE

Tory supporters are going on a “donor strike” over the handling of Brexit, forcing Sir Mick Davis, the chief executive and treasurer of the Conservative Party, to “reach into his own pocket” to fund the electoral campaign for the European election. 

A Tory source told The Times: “TMick Davis is having to reach into his own pocket to fund campaigning, at least up front. 

“Hopefully we‘ll recoup it later but Mick had to tell Cabinet recently about the dire funding situation, particularly among Remain-leaning donors, because of the situation on Brexit.” 

Nicola Sturgeon said a second referendum would be the best way to end the Brexit deadlock (Image: GETTY)

8.25am update: Nicola Sturgeon urges Theresa May to ‘drop damaging red lines‘ 

Scotland‘s First Minister urged Theresa May to drop her “damaging red lines” and use the extensions granted by the EU27 to talk about which relationship the UK will have with the EU after Brexit. 

Ms Sturgeon said: “The EU‘s decision to offer a further six-month extension is hugely welcome.

“However, it places a duty on the UK Government to use this time better than it has used the previous three years.

“In particular, it must drop the damaging red lines that have done so much to cause this mess.

“Instead, it must talk seriously – with all opposition parties and devolved governments – about what our long-term relationship with Europe could reasonably look like.

“In addition, it should recognise a fact that has become more and more obvious in recent months, and is gaining increasing support.” 

Ms Sturgeon added the “best way to resolve Brexit” is a second referendum. 

She said: “Any deal that is arrived at is likely to be very different from what many voters thought they were promised.

“It should therefore be put to the people again. A second referendum is now the best way of resolving .

“My hope – although this is in no way guaranteed – is that in a second referendum, the UK as a whole would opt to remain.

“There are many reasons for that. One of them is that any form of Brexit – no matter how soft – will have damaging consequences for people‘s jobs, living standards and opportunities.”

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