Local MPs show their support for Theresa May

Dec 14, 2018, 01:18
Local MPs show their support for Theresa May

The British prime minister survived a confidence vote in her leadership, but a full third of her own party cast ballots against her, a big blow that means she will have an nearly impossible job getting her current Brexit deal approved by Parliament.

"The result of the ballot held this evening is that the parliamentary party does have Conservative Party does have confidence in Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party", announced Graham Brady, the Chairman of the Conservative Party's 1922 Committee.

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".

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 that would not happen, that is not her intention".

"The Prime Minister has lost her majority in Parliament, her government is in chaos and she is unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country and puts jobs and the economy first", he said.

None of the Prime Minister's critics took the opportunity to attack her, while there was strong support from backbenchers including Neil O'Brien, who condemned "headbangers from all sides" for undermining her.

Brexit was the only issue on the table and May has promised to continue to seek "legally binding" assurances about the Irish backstop from the EU.

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"A Prime Minister is a person who can get business through parliament".

She still has the challenge of selling her deal and not just to MPs but to party activists who are equally aggrieved that the Brexit they wanted is not what they have got.

In a vote of Conservative MPs, 200 voted in favour of the Prime Minister and 117 against her, giving her a majority of 83. And since many of her most pro-Brexit MPs want the United Kingdom to leave without any deal at all, nothing she might hope to achieve is going to bear fruit.

However, the scale of the no-confidence vote in her leadership and her pledge to stand down before the next election means the race to replace her will now start in earnest.

The vehemently eurosceptic group tried to prompt a vote of no confidence in the prime minister last month when she revealed the details of her draft Brexit agreement with the European Union but was unable to corral enough supporters. Labour said that they didn't want to pull the trigger too early, before Tory MPs or the DUP were willing to take down the government.

But Corbyn is keen to keep up attacks on the government, amid pressure from grassroots activists to fight Brexit - and there is nothing to stop the party tabling subsequent motions, if it loses.

In a threat to the same Brexiteers who have driven the challenge against her, May said the tight deadline may force a new leader to delay or even cancel Brexit.

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He went on: "Let's assume we get a deal, I think Theresa May [.] will go whenever we tap her on the shoulder after March".

As it stands, the United Kingdom and the European Union are at a political impasse, and the current Brexit withdrawal agreement will not win approval in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Mrs May said she will be showing European Union leaders the "legal assurances" she believes MPs want before they will back her deal.

That is probably because she has already agreed to it, and so has the EU27.

"She clearly doesn't have the confidence of the Commons".

That's one more than voted for her in 2016 (when there were around a dozen more Conservative MPs).

Theresa May defended her Brexit deal and warned that ousting her could derail the whole process.

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The traditionally right-wing paper said five ministers were now urging May to let parliament "hold a series of "indicative" votes on every conceivable option" of Brexit.