Dec 12, 2018

Theresa May survives no-confidence vote over Brexit plan

Dave Lawler, author of World

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.

What they're saying:

  • FT: "May was forced to tell MPs she would not lead the Tories into the next election, while the confidence vote brought into the public glare the scale of the enmity now felt within her party."
  • The London Times: "The margin was far less than Downing Street had hoped for and looks certain to create more political uncertainty."
  • BBC: "[T]he margin of victory is a 'real blow' to the PM's authority."
  • The Telegraph's Europe editor: "EU diplomats continue to look on with a mixture of pity, frustration and despair as British democracy wrestles with the many-headed Hydra that is Brexit, and the hard choices it poses."

What's next: May gave brief remarks from Downing Street after the vote, saying she was "pleased" with the result and ready to “get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people.”

  • "She is now expected to travel to a summit in Brussels on Thursday to continue trying to persuade EU leaders to change the deal — they have previously said it can not be renegotiated," per BBC.

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