Why has Theresa May offered to resign, what will happen if her Brexit deal doesn’t go through and how has she handled Brexit so far?

THERESA May has offered to resign in order to get her faltering Brexit deal through the House of Commons.

But what happens if her deal fails for a third time? Here’s what we know.


Theresa May has faced calls to quit over her handling of Brexit – and may resign if her deal is passed[/caption]

Will Theresa May resign?

Just two days before the UK was originally meant to leave the European Union, Mrs May finally pledged to step aside to win over colleagues who have previously opposed her deal.

Her voice cracked as she told the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs: “I know there is a desire for a new approach, new leadership, in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations — and I won’t stand in the way of that.
“I know some people are worried that if you vote for the withdrawal agreement, I will take that as a mandate to rush into phase two without the debate we need to have.

“I won’t — I hear what you’re saying. But we need to get the deal through and deliver Brexit.

“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country.

“I ask everyone in this room to back the deal so we can complete our historic duty — to deliver on the decision of the British people and leave the European Union with a smooth and orderly exit.”

Mrs May did not name a specific date as to when she would theoretically step down, but it could be as soon as Britain leaves the EU.

The UK is currently set to leave on May 22.

What happens if her deal is voted down again?

Mrs May’s plan has already been defeated twice in the House of Commons — but she is still desperately trying to save her legacy by getting her deal passed.

It is still currently unclear if there will be a third “meaningful vote” on her deal at all as MPs currently vote on a range of options of the future Brexit process.

But if the vote does happen and it’s rejected again, then the remaining outcomes would include a no-deal Brexit, a withdrawal of Article 50, or an extension.

If the UK extended Article 50 again, the length our continued membership in the EU could mean that the UK has to hold EU elections in May.

Following that, the parliamentary deadlock could only be broken by a renegotiation with Brussels, a referendum, or a general election.

How has May handled Brexit so far?

On July 6, 2018, Mrs May revealed a strategy at Chequers which if successful will ensure the UK will remain closely tied to Brussels even after we leave.

The PM had also outlined her plans for a new UK-EU free trade area for goods, with a “common rulebook” – but we won’t have any say in them.

This so-called Chequers plan directly led to the resignations of both Boris Johnson and David Davis.

The Prime Minister struck a compromised divorce agreement with EU leaders on November 13, 2018.

On November 14, Mrs May hailed her soft Brexit deal as “in the national interest” after winning the backing of her divided Cabinet following a tense five-hour meeting.

Theresa May is lobbying Labour MPs to back her deal in a sign she’s given up on winning over rebel Tories, it was reported on November 26.

It was thought that 11 ministers, including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, objected to the plan before eventually going along with it.

But both Brexiteers and Remainers described it as the “worst of all worlds”.

On December 4 Theresa May lost a crucial Commons vote by 311 to 293 over her refusal to publish the full legal advice on her EU deal.

The Government became the first to be found in contempt of Parliament in a constitutional stand-off.

The “contempt” motion is not known to have been passed against a sitting Government in Parliament’s 700 years of existence.

In a humiliating summit for the PM, EU leaders said Britain could postpone Brexit until May 22 if the Commons backs her EU plan.

But the UK would have to leave the bloc by April 12 if the PM fails to win a majority.

The impasse in the Commons continues as no proposed Brexit strategy commands an outright majority among MPs.

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