No-deal Brexit better than staying in European Union, says Hunt

Theresa May and her husband Philip May leave after attending their local church service on Easter Sunday

Theresa May and her husband Philip May leave after attending their local church service on Easter Sunday

Several ministers are jockeying for position after Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to promise she would step down before the next phase of Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union to try to rally her party behind her Brexit deal.

The decision on Wednesday to leave the rules unchanged gave May a reprieve as she continues to faceunprecedented pressure from within her party to quit over her handling of Brexit. "We should have a clear roadmap forward".

Before the Easter recess, the prime minister urged MPs to "reflect on the decisions that will have to be made swiftly on our return".

While it is entirely understandable many in Government and Parliament are feeling a certain amount of fatigue with the Brexit process after months of intense argument and debate that often appear to result in little or no progress, the stakes for this country's future could not be higher.

"I think that there is a genuine attempt to find a way through".

He said: "If we want to have a majority, we have to reach out and I think that does mean we have to reach out to people who live in cities and in particular I think it means we have to reach out to young people".

"I had already resigned as president of the Maidstone Conservative Association because I didn't want to embarrass them, I didn't want them to feel they had to expel me, but the party didn't lose much time".

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, met the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, on Wednesday to discuss financial services after Brexit, as part of the ongoing dialogue between the two sides.

Continued talks on Thursday were expected to cover environmental issues.

Government insiders say the Prime Minister has given up hope of cancelling United Kingdom participation in the European Parliament poll by securing Commons approval for her withdrawal deal within the next three weeks.

Earlier, a spokesman declined to say whether the Conservative party would hold a campaign launch for the European parliamentary elections.

Pro-Brexit Conservatives are angry with May's failure to take Britain out of the European Union, nearly three years after voters backed leaving.

Many Conservatives fear the Tories will suffer heavy losses to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party if - as now seems likely - the United Kingdom is forced to go ahead with voting in the European elections on May 23.

They decided there should be no change to the rule which grants a leader a 12-month period of grace following a no-confidence vote during which they can not be challenged again.

Daniel Kenealy, a politics lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, said the SNP was not as united on the independence drive as it likes to present.

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