Theresa May is coming under increasing pressure to step down from her position as Prime Minister. New surveys highlighted the scale of the threat that the new Brexit party poses to the Conservatives, both in this month’s European Parliament poll and a possible general election. Ministers admitted on Sunday that the European elections on May 23 would be difficult for the Tories, with some Conservatives privately predicting a meltdown because of a surge in support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party. Mrs May will meet the executive of the Tories’ 1922 committee of backbench MPs on Thursday when she is expected to face fresh pressure to name a departure date.
If she does not provide clarity, the committee may seek to change its rule book to allow MPs to force a Tory leadership election sooner than the current permitted date of December 12. A substantial number of Conservative MPs and activists want Mrs May to make way for a new leader quickly because of her failure to get her Brexit deal approved by the House of Commons. Talks between the government and the Labour party about a compromise Brexit deal involving Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement are set to resume on Monday. Downing Street said it will explore with the EU how the existing political declaration between Britain and the bloc on future relations could be amended to try to seal a cross-party deal at Westminster.
Donald Trump’s top economic adviser sought to contain the fallout from the escalation of trade tensions with Beijing, saying there was a “strong possibility” the US president would meet with Xi Jinping, China’s president, to rescue a deal at the G20 summit in Japan next month.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, raised the prospect of a face-to-face encounter between Mr Trump and Mr Xi as the US moved to impose sharply higher tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports, dramatically raising the stakes in the trade dispute between the countries. On Monday, the US administration is expected to release details of a further $300bn of Chinese imports that it wants to hit with 25 per cent tariffs if there is no progress in the negotiations with Beijing, after already moving to raise levies on an earlier list of $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on Friday.