PM MAY’S Brexit Withdrawal Bill will not be published or debated until early June, the government said yesterday as she came under more pressure from her MPs to resign at once.
Downing Street has announced that just- resigned Andrea Leadsom will be replaced by Treasury minister Mel Stride.
Standing in for Leadsom, Mark Spencer told the House of Commons: ‘We will update the House on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess.’
He added that the government planned to publish the bill in the first week of June.
‘We had hoped to hold the second reading on Friday 7th June,’ he added.
‘At the moment, we have not secured an agreement to this in the usual channels. Of course we will update the House when we return from recess.’
They could well be returning without a PM.
On Wednesday, May had told the Commons that the legislation would be published on Friday.
The second reading is when MPs get a first chance to debate legislation, before deciding whether it should proceed to detailed scrutiny.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had insisted that May would still be PM when President Trump visits the UK in early June.
Responding to a question after a speech at the National Cyber Security Centre, he said: ‘Theresa May will be prime minister to welcome him and rightly so.’
However, May may quit as Conservative leader before Trump’s visit, and it is not certain that he would be prepared to see her as a caretaker PM.
Trump is due in the UK from 3rd to 5th June.
The UK needs to pass a law to implement the withdrawal agreement – the part of the PM’s Brexit deal which will take the country out of the EU – in UK law.
Leadsom was set to announce when the prime minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the legislation needed to implement the agreement between the UK and EU – would be introduced to Parliament.
May is due to meet the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, today.
On Wednesday, members of the Conservatives’ backbench 1922 Committee held a secret ballot on whether to change party rules, to allow the prime minister to face a vote of no confidence immediately.
The results, in sealed envelopes, will be opened if May does not agree to stand down by 10th June.