As a series of Brexit votes loom following a weekend that saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets of London demanding a second referendum, British Prime Minister Theresa May received the backing of several ministers who dismissed reports of a "coup" against the embattled leader.
Chancellor Philip Hammond called any talk of a leadership change "self-indulgent" and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the PM "is in charge," according to BBC News, while David Lidington, who has been touted as a replacement for May, said, "I am 100 percent behind the prime minister."
Still, British newspapers are reporting that behind the scenes, several cabinet members are plotting a coup against May and making plans to replace her with a caretaker leader until a proper election can take place later this year. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeted that there was "serious maneuvering" going on.
Britain had been set to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal after May’s negotiated agreement was voted down by lawmakers. That vote last week was May’s second Brexit defeat in parliament. However, May received a lifeline last week when EU leaders agreed to a short-term Brexit extension.
Throngs of protesters filled the streets of London on Saturday demanding a second referendum. The original Brexit vote, which critics have since said was influenced by Russia-backed disinformation and outright lies about what leaving the EU would mean, passed by 1.3 million votes.
In the coming days, a range of different scenarios could play out, depending on how British lawmakers vote. They include, according to BBC News: Revoking Article 50 and canceling Brexit altogether, setting up a second referendum, May’s deal plus a customs union, May’s deal plus a customs union and single-market access, a Canada-style free trade deal, or leaving the EU without a deal.
Hammond told BBC News that he would remove revoking Article 50 and a no-deal Brexit from the list, saying "both of those would have very serious and negative consequences for our country."
In terms of a second referendum, Hammond said: "It is a coherent proposition and deserves to be considered, along with the other proposals."
Although this coming Friday is the day that Britain was set to leave the EU, the earliest that could now happen is April 12.