I’d say this is wrong. Cameron promised a referendum in order to calm his backbenchers who were petrified their voters would abandon them for UKIP.
I don’t think he thought that the Tories would gain an outright majority (which given previous and subsequent elections probably seemed a safe enough bet). In a coalition the referendum could have been dropped.
Except they underestimated how well UKIP had managed to stir up voters and the Tories won. Oops.
I think that is also a bit off.
I think May was not so much looking to avoid confrontation but completely paralysed by the fact that despite all the talk about how clear the referendum result was, etc., the reality is that a lot of people voted against leaving and those in favour of leaving range from realists (if nutjobs) who accepted that leaving the EU would mean significantly lesser access to EU markets, institutions, etc. (although none of them can agree on what level of access is desirable/possible) to complete nutters who thought one could somehow leave the EU, stay out of all the bits they hate but still get all the trade benefits.
The latter view is the one that Vote Leave put forward during the referendum so if anything had any kind of democratic mandate, it was trying to deliver the “Have cake and eat it” version of Brexit which is what May has tried to do and, so far as possible, I think her deal does that.
It’s a complete load of crap which is why everyone is against it. It’s obviously massively worse than being in the EU and almost certainly worse than being fully out (give or take a decade or two of reorganisation/complete chaos and poverty) but it is as close as one can come to being out of the EU while having full access.
I think the rest of your points are hugely optimistic.
I have no idea whether May would/will survive a no-confidence motion. I suspect she will if only because none of the realistic candidates to succeed her (apart maybe from Boris) will want to have the post at the moment and will probably tell their supporters not to vote against May.
It’s a poisoned chalice.
If I were May, I’d be tempted to resign just to fuck them over.
“It has become clear that I no longer have the full support of my party and in the interest of the country it is right that I step aside to allow the party to elect a leader who has their full support and confidence.”
“Goodbye, I’m off to write my memoirs while I laugh at the antics of whichever idiot lets themselves get elected as my replacement. Good luck”.
But then, if she were the sort of person to do that, she wouldn’t be PM in the first place.