- UK Prime Minister Theresa May has shelved plans to publish her Brexit Withdrawal Bill on Friday.
- Several senior members of May’s Cabinet had requested meetings with her to demand that she drop plans to hold a vote on a second referendum.
- The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, resigned Wednesday over the plans.
- The prime minister is under intense pressure from colleagues to announce her resignation.
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LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May has shelved plans to publish her Brexit legislation this week after senior members of her Cabinet withdrew their support for her plans.
The prime minister had planned to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Friday ahead of a vote on it at the start of June but will now seek to rewrite it.
A spokesman for May on Thursday said she was “listening to the concerns of colleagues” over the bill and “would have further discussions today.”
Several senior ministers had requested meetings with the prime minister on Wednesday to demand that she drop key elements of the bill, including provisions to allow a parliamentary vote on whether to hold a second referendum on leaving the European Union.
Following their demands, ministers revealed Thursday that plans to publish the bill Friday, ahead of a vote in June, had been dropped. They insisted, however, that the bill would still go to a vote at some point.
“We had hoped to hold second reading on Friday 7 June – at the moment we have not secured agreement to this in the usual channels,” the government whip Mark Spencer told the House of Commons.
Senior government sources suggested they still hoped to publish the bill after the coming parliamentary recess.
The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, resigned on Wednesday evening in protest over the contents of the bill.
“I have always maintained that a second referendum would be dangerously divisive, and I do not support the Government willingly facilitating such a concession,” Leadsom, a prominent campaigner for leaving the EU, wrote in her resignation letter.
The decision to shelve the bill comes with May under intense pressure to resign, with her allies suggesting she will quit as early as Friday.