At tonight’s meeting of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady told Tory MPs that Theresa May would see the executive of the Committee next week to discuss their request for more clarity on her departure plans. He also told Tory MPs that Theresa May was committed to making progress on the withdrawal agreement bill in the near future. I understand that this means an attempt at second reading before the European Elections on the 23rd of May.
Now, if you are looking for a clue as to when this second reading might be attempted, consider that next Thursday is a three line whip for Tory MPs despite the fact that all that is currently scheduled is a general debate. This has led several Tory MPs to conclude that the government is considering bringing second reading on this day; it could easily drop the general debate and the three-line whip should ensure that all Tory MPs are present and correct. Bringing second reading on that day would also give May something to tell the executive of the 1922 Committee, when she sees them next week.
Currently, it is hard to see why second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) should succeed when the other three attempts to get things going have failed. But it would be very hard for the government to do nothing between now and the European Elections. They have to show that they are trying to get this thing done and bringing the second reading of the WAB is one of the few ways they have to do that.