Forgotten about the looming threat of a no confidence vote against PM Theresa May? So had I.
There are rumours that Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, has now received the 48 letters required to call for a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister, but that this won’t be announced until Mrs May has returned to the UK after beginning new talks with European leaders. Tim Dawson of the Telegraph and Spectator announced on the news on Twitter.
The Prime Minister hopped across the Channel today to begin talks with European leaders to try and secure new concessions, or likely just new "reassurances," in an attempt to rescue her Brexit deal. She met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte today in order to secure assurances over the backstop issue.
She needs to find a way to convince Parliamentarians that if the backstop comes into play, the UK will not be held indefinitely within it and Northern Ireland will not be treated different to the rest of the UK.
It’s not looking good, though. Merkel said today that the Brexit deal could not be renegotiated, and so did Jean-Claude Juncker. Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg, the Commission President Juncker said that he was willing to offer ‘further clarification’ over the backstop, but that there is "no room whatsoever" to change the agreement at this stage.
That means Eurosceptics won’t be won over by any reassurances May might get from her visit. If the ERG are to vote in favour of her deal, or even non-ERG Brexiteers in Parliament, she would need a change to the withdrawal text.
Therefore, her mission is to fully reassure Remainers and loosely-pro-Brexit MPs that her deal will not leave us stuck in the backstop.