The Tories are headed for what looks to be one of the most embarrassing electoral showings in recent memory during May's EU Parliament elections, even though they technically shouldn't matter since the UK is still - at least on paper - supposed to leave the EU at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future. But the broader political implications are clear. Theresa May's mismanagement of the Brexit process has triggered a backlash that will affect her entire party, and with Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party surging in the polls, frustrated Tories are once again imploring their PM to step aside and let the party find a new leader to drive the UK over the Brexit cliff.
The latest flurry of reports suggest that May will step aside this summer - possibly as soon as late next month - but not before giving her old Brexit withdrawal agreement one last try in the Commons.
The next vote now has a date: June 3. Which just so happens to coincide with President Trump's upcoming state visit. With the country distracted, the Tories reeling from a bruising EU Parliamentary vote, and appetite for more Brexit can-kicking non-existent, perhaps May will finally be able to push her widely hated deal through.
Presumably @theresa_may’s calculation in bringing back her Brexit deal for a vote in week of 3 June is that her party’s wipeout in the EU elections, likely to be announced a week earlier, will have so terrified her MPs that right at the last they will back her and her...— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 14, 2019
Withdrawal Agreement. The much more likely scenario however, according to senior Tories, is that her MPs will reject her deal and reject her as their leader - and they will throw her out of Downing Street. So I would say she is taking a gamble. But truthfully she is not. She...— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 14, 2019
has run out of road and is now totally at the mercy of her MPs.— Robert Peston (@Peston) May 14, 2019
Though, if the last three votes are any indication about how the next one might turn out, the odds are stacked against her. Even the third vote still failed by 58 votes.
Then again, if MPs simply swallow their disgust and vote for the deal - since May's ongoing negotiations with Labour likely won't produce any kind of workable alternative - they can take off for their summer recess knowing that Brexit has finally been delivered.
The pound's reaction to the news was muted; it appears algorithmic traders have finally given up on trading the 'untradeable' pound.