Doomed May wins confidence vote but at heavy cost

Friday, 14 Dec, 2018

"She can not get her deal through, her very bad and unsatisfactory withdrawal agreement its not supported by the DUP by many Conservatives or by the Opposition".

She had promised MPs she would seek "assurances" about their concerns over a so-called "backstop" plan to keep open the border with Ireland.

Mrs Foster, whose 10 MPs prop up the minority Conservative administration, said she told the PM that "we were not seeking assurances or promises, we wanted fundamental legal text changes".

"That must start here in Westminster with politicians on all sides coming together and acting in the national interest". Nevertheless, the path to another referendum, which requires a change of government to get the necessary legislation through Parliament (and perhaps to ask for an extension to the Article 50 negotiating process) now looks trickier, because Theresa May has become that little more hard to dislodge. Under the rules, she can not be challenged by a confidence vote again for 12 months.

"The only way out of this mess is for the PM to show real leadership by calling a People's Vote, and letting the public choose between this Brexit chaos and uncertainty or stability under the best deal we already have as a member of the European Union".

Late Wednesday May survived a no-confidence vote among her Conservative Party lawmakers, triggered by unhappiness in the party at the way she is handling Brexit.

May's victory, "means she can not be challenged for another year, closing the route to a no deal outcome via Brexiteer victory in a Conservative party leadership election and a change in government policy".

Responding to the result, the Scottish First Minister said: "This result is barely even a pyrrhic victory for the Prime Minister, who has now admitted her time in office is limited".

The scale of the rebellion against May was significantly larger than most predictions, suggesting that she still has a mountain to climb to win over her party in order to pass her Brexit plans through parliament.

Theresa May
Theresa May makes a statement in 10 Downing Street after the vote results

The prime minister faces a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the party.

It's all over Mrs May's flagship Brexit withdrawal deal, which she unveiled last month.

Brexiteers were angry that the vote was held on the same day as the 48 letters from individual MPs needed to trigger it were submitted to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee.

Corbyn said he was "delighted to see the prime minister back in place after her little journeys".

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March and, if the Withdrawal Agreement May reached with Brussels is not endorsed in the House of Commons, the country will crash out of the bloc with no deal.

If she loses the vote, May must step down and there will be a contest to choose a new Conservative leader.

Now that May has survived, the "how to remove the prime minister" question swings back towards the Labour party.

Solicitor general Robert Buckland told reporters: "She said, "In my heart I would like to lead the party into the next election" and then that was the introductory phrase to her indication that she would accept the fact that would not happen, that is not her intention". But that does not remotely protect her from the brutal reality that she, right now, has no workable Brexit policy that can make it through the Commons.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who led calls for the confidence vote, said losing the support of a third of her MPs was a "terrible result for the prime minister" and he urged her to resign. If Brexit is to proceed (and for now it looks as though it will), they'll either be stuck with May's deal (which nobody seems to like) or no deal at all, which many observers believe is worse.