Theresa May has tried to delay her resignation for almost three months by telling ministers she can get a Brexit deal done if she is allowed to stay as Britain's Prime Minister until the end of July.
May met Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn for talks yesterday where she told him that she will table a vote on a Brexit "divorce" Bill next month with or without a deal with Labour.
She earlier told her Cabinet the Brexit legislation must pass before Parliament breaks for the northern summer.
May has promised to quit once the Brexit divorce deal is agreed, meaning she would stay in Number 10 for at least another 11 weeks.
A new poll showed the Tories will not solve their problems simply by changing leader, as 60 per cent of voters said they would be no more likely to vote Tory next week if May was replaced.
May's meeting with Corbyn in her parliamentary office was only the third time they have met since the talks began six weeks ago. Ministers will meet tomorrow to continue the dialogue. She is expected to set a deadline for Labour to agree to a deal or end the talks by next week, as she wants to publish Brexit legislation before next Thursday's European elections.
May is now prepared to put a tweaked Brexit deal to a vote in Parliament even if she cannot guarantee it will pass. Neither the Conservatives nor Labour expect the cross-party talks to produce a deal, and both sides now also have cold feet over allowing MPs to choose the way forward through indicative votes.
Instead, May will publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill — the legislation required for Britain to leave the EU with a deal — in the week beginning June 3 to force MPs into a choice between the deal or the possibility of Brexit being cancelled.
The Bill will include concessions agreed with Labour on workers' rights and regulatory alignment of goods in the hope that it will entice more Labour MPs to vote for it. It will still contain the "backstop" to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, and Labour's demands for a permanent customs union will be ignored.
- Telegraph Group Ltd