Theresa May might not survive to the end of next week as prime minister, a Tory peer has said.
Lord Gadhia, a former member of David Cameron’s inner circle, said the upcoming days in Parliament may be ‘very dramatic’ and could see the end of May’s time as premier.
Acknowledging that the suggestion has been made many times before, he added that the prime minister may take the decision to remove herself from the process.
Speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, Lord Gadhia said: ‘I think that Theresa May has got to make a judgment as to whether or not to bring back Meaningful Vote 3.
‘My sense is that she is backsliding on that because she knows she is going to be defeated, and might instead bring to the table what I call indicative votes.’
He added: ‘And frankly – and this has been said many weeks in the last few months – that she may not survive the end of the week.
‘But it is quite possible that she herself may decide that, ‘actually, look, I am an obstacle to a resolution of this process’.
‘So we may have a very dramatic week.’
He added: ‘We absolutely have to make up our mind before April 12, whether or not we want to fight the European elections, and whether or not we want a longer extension because we have decided either on a referendum, or on a different type of deal that we then need to negotiate and change the political declaration.
‘It is clear to me that the withdrawal agreement will remain as it is.’
He made the comments in a panel discussion with Professor Becky Francis, former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, and former Greek prime minister George Papandreou on what Brexit means for young people. Asked by moderator Nick Ferrari whether he was in favour of a second referendum, Lord Gadhia indicated he would prefer it to a no-deal.
He said: ‘If we move to a no-deal, then I do think the goalposts have been materially moved and the public should have informed consent before moving to a no-deal situation.
‘The reason I say that is if you look at the vote leave manifesto, it clearly said we are not going to have an abrupt departure we are going to do this in a negotiated way.
‘If we move to no-deal, then I would be more open to it. Otherwise, I would be happy also to have, frankly, any modified deal.’