Monday, 20 May, 2019

Tories sink to fifth in London, poll shows — European Union elections

Leader of The Brexit Party Nigel Farage appears on The Andrew Marr Show Leader of The Brexit Party Nigel Farage appears on The Andrew Marr Show
Deanna Wagner | 14 May, 2019, 18:10

Following Monday's talks with Labour, a No 10 spokesman said they were still trying to find an agreed way forward that would allow Britain to leave the European Union with a deal.

"That means people who voted Leave and people who voted for Remain".

The failure of the CUK party to break through bodes extremely poorly for the electoral prospects of the "Remain Resistance" led by the likes of Tony Blair, given it was supposed to serve as a Remainer answer to the Brexit Party.

He then set out what Labour would like to see on the ballot paper if a second referendum took place - a choice between a negotiated Brexit deal and remain.

Education Minister Damian Hinds said the European elections were in effect a second referendum and would be hard for the Conservatives.

"There is a massive appetite for the Brexit Party right now because people want to live in a democratic country", according to Farage.

Mrs May's spokesman said the government was prepared to hold "definitive votes" once Labour's support is secured. He said for some people, the election is being seen as nearly a second referendum on whether to leave the EU.

The inability to agree on a way forward led the United Kingdom to miss its 29 March deadline for leaving the European Union - the current date for departure is 31 October. Priti Patel, a former Cabinet Minister who is critical of the withdrawal agreement as it stands, labelled the campaign "desperate" and "appalling" and an attempt to undermine Prime Minister Theresa May's critics.

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May has failed three times to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs.

EU laws are put in place by heads of member states and MEPs, who approve, disapprove or amend proposed legislation from the European Commission.

Labour, which is running second in the polls, is also being tested by the elections.

Labour is proposing Britain remaining in a customs union with the EU, a position that's anathema to the hardline Brexiters, nicknamed the "Spartans", in May's party, but doesn't go far enough to satisfy the almost three out of four Labour Party members who are pro-EU.

A survey carried out by Yougov shows that just 10 per cent of Londoners are planning to back the Tories in the vote on 23 May, leaving them behind the Lib Dems on 17 per cent and the Greens on 14 per cent.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire from both pro-Remain and pro-Brexit MPs in his party, amid complaints that confusion over Labour's position cost them votes in the council elections.

Thirteen of May's former cabinet colleagues as well as Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative lawmakers, wrote to May to ask her not to agree to Labour's demand for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime critic of the European Union, has shied away from committing to a second Brexit referendum - to the fury of a majority of his lawmakers, who believe a second vote on European Union membership would overturn the June 2016 plebiscite, in which a thin majority voted for Brexit.