May warned of no confidence vote if she backs down on customs union

Posted On: 
21st April 2018

Pro-Brexit Tory MPs have reportedly warned Theresa May she faces a possible vote of no confidence if she concedes to rebel MPs over a customs union with the EU. 

Theresa May faces trouble on her own backbenches over the customs union
Credit: 
PA

The Government looks likely to fudge the issue by not whipping MPs on a non-binding vote next Thursday.

The motion, which is backed by former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, calls for the “objective of the establishment of an effective customs union”.

EXCL Theresa May could face leadership challenge if Tories suffer local election 'meltdown'

Theresa May facing cross-party Commons ambush over customs union

Blow for Theresa May as peers vote for UK to stay in customs union after Brexit

However ministers face more important votes on the trade and customs bills after the local elections on May 3rd. 

The Times reports sources close to the eurosceptic European Research Group saying they could force a confidence vote if the Prime Minister gives way on the customs union. 

“If there’s a cave-in on the customs union, I think there will be a leadership challenge," one MP told the ConservativeHome website.

Mrs May could also come under pressure if her party suffers a "meltdown" in the local elections. 

Tory insiders fear the party could suffer major losses when voters go to the polls across the country on 3 May.

All the seats in London's 32 borough councils are up for grabs, with experts predicting that the Conservatives could lose control of more than half of the authorities they currently hold.

"If the London elections are really bad - if we lose Westminster and Wandsworth for example - then the Prime Minister is in trouble," a Tory MP told PoliticsHome earlier this year.