The Tory party has rules. The key rule at the moment is that a leadership challenge to remove a Prime Minister can happen only once in 365 days. Theresa May survived a leadership challenge in December of 2018.

The "men in gray suits" comment is a reference to the 1922 committee.

Although 80% of Tory MPs want May out, it's the 1922 Committee that sets the rules. Yesterday, Sir Graham Brady, head of the rules committee issued an ultimatum: Pick Your Resignation Date or We Will.

The committee cannot pick a resignation date, but it can change the rules and hold a leadership challenge vote.

May Taunts the Committee

Today we learn, Theresa May Rebuffs Fresh Calls to Resign.

Theresa May has no intention of setting out a fresh timetable for her departure, Downing Street has signalled, with a spokesman insisting she is determined to “get Brexit done”.

The spokesman dismissed calls from Conservative backbenchers for the prime minister to step down, saying she had already “made a very generous and bold offer” to the 1922 Committee of resigning if her Brexit deal is passed.

Not Generous

May's offer was not generous. Her deal, which potentially might keep the UK permanently trapped in a customs union would not deliver Brexit.

The Corbyn compromise effort is even worse.

There is no guarantee May would actually stand down. Rather, it may very well have come to the same place: change the rules and vote her out or wait until the next opportunity in December. Thus May's offer was blackmail and not even enforceable.

Her deal-in-the-works with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is even worse. It would be better to remain.


Removal Math

Brexiter sources on the committee have said they are increasingly confident they may have enough support to remove the time limit, after a previous ballot went narrowly against changing the rules.

However, it is not yet sure to pass, nor is it certain that Tory MPs would vote by a majority to remove May; many soft Brexit supporters would rather she had passed a deal in order to prevent her successor campaigning for a no-deal departure from the EU.

If indeed 80% of MPs want May out, the math is seemingly present. The Remainers will all vote in a block against removal, but there are not enough of them. The open question is how many in the soft-Brexit group will vote not to remove May.

A simple majority would remove May. Only the Tories would vote. If May lost the leadership challenge, the Tories would need to find a candidate who confidence of 50% of the Tories.

Then, one might expect a motion of no confidence by Corbyn to remove that person. If successful, general elections with an unknown outcome would be in the cards.

That's the real danger for both sides. Polls now are not reliable.

Conspiring With Corbyn

Theresa May is now in bed with Jeremy Corbyn in a futile attempt to come up with a deal that honors the spirit of Brexit.

It's impossible.

May has already crossed red lines, and Corbyn demands more. The customs union that Corbyn seeks is worse than remaining. His preference is an arrangement in which the UK would have to abide by EU rules without have any vote on those rules.

Meanwhile, May will not stand down without a deal unless she is forcibly removed.

She needs a new slogan: Any deal is better than no deal.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Men in Grey Write "Dear Prime Minister" Letter to Theresa May on Custom's Union

The 1922 Committee wrote Theresa May a letter warning her about negotiations with Labour to create a customs union deal.

Men in Gray Suits Set Trap: Theresa May Will Be Gone by End of July

Theresa May will be gone by the end of July says Robert Peston of Peston Politics. Eurointelligence agrees.

Tearful Theresa May Meets the Men in Grey: The Inside Story

A tearful Theresa May pleaded to hang on until she delivered Brexit. 1922 said no, but there is still no formal date.

Tories Reject Rules Change But Ask May to Clarify When She Will Stand Down

News out of the UK is a mixed bag but Theresa May did survive another leadership challenge, unfortunately.

Theresa May Pledges to Stand Down By May 22 (Next Phase) if MPs Back Her Plan

May offers to stand down if MPs only pass her deal. "I hear what you're saying," said May.

UK Ministers Tell Theresa May to Stand Down: "No Deal In the Desert"

May will traipse off to the desert to meet EU leaders on Sunday. "No Deal" is already the official response.

Who Will Replace Theresa May? Eight Candidates in Crowded Race

8 candidates tossed their hats into the ring to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister. Boris Johnson is the favorite.

Collapse of Theresa May's Government and End of Brexit? Not So Fast!

An unusual coalition of Tory and Labour politicians are threatening to take down Prime Minister Theresa May's government. They demand a "meaningful" vote on Brexit. Meanwhile, the hard-liners want May to leave and be done with it. Thus, May is taking it from all sides.

Theresa May to Get Tory Ultimatum: Pick Your Resignation Date or We Will

The Tory leadership has finally had enough of Theresa May. She needs to pick a day to stand down, or Tories will.