European Union (EU)

Theresa May survives no-confidence vote over Brexit plan

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May still has her job. Rebels in her Conservative Party forced a no-confidence vote in objection to her Brexit plan, but did not convince a majority of the party's members of Parliament to oust her. The final vote was 200-117 in May's favor.

What's next: May is severely weakened. In an effort to secure her short-term survival, she said she would not be a candidate in the next general election. That election could come long ahead of schedule — odds of a parliamentary deadlock over her plan still look high, and her government could well collapse before she sees Brexit through. One upside for her: The hardline Brexiteers are now weakened too after their plot to topple her failed.

Expert Voices

Delayed Brexit vote forestalls near certain defeat for May's plan

Theresa May getting out of a car
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May outside Downing Street. Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Faced with almost certain rejection, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a parliamentary vote on Monday on her plans for leaving the EU. To win over MPs, she is now seeking to amend the deal, in particular the complex arrangements concerning the future of the border between the U.K. and Ireland — the only land border between the U.K. and the rest of the EU.

The big picture: EU leaders have made clear that the 585-page withdrawal agreement cannot be changed. All May can expect is a side letter containing a legally meaningless “clarification,” which will satisfy very few, if any, MPs in London. Whenever she calls the vote, she is likely to face a heavy parliamentary defeat.

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