UK’s May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit plan crushed

Posted January 17, 2019

London mayor Sadiq Khan called Wednesday night on May's government to withdraw article 50, the mechanism that triggers Britain's European Union departure on March 29.

What started as a fight within the Conservative Party led to the June 2016 referendum, then spread to a hostile and bitter divide across British society and most parties in Parliament.

Moments after the vote, May said it was only right to test whether the government still had lawmakers' support to carry on.

Lawmakers voted 325 to 306 that they have confidence in May's government, just 24 hours after they handed her Brexit deal a crushing defeat that left Britain's exit from from the European Union in disarray 10 weeks before it is due to leave.

"This is a catastrophic defeat for this government", Corbyn said to Parliament.

Theresa May's deal, which she had agreed with European Union leaders, was voted down by a margin of 230 votes, the largest in any such vote in over a century.

Crucially, the ten MPs for the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist party, who also opposed the Brexit deal, ultimately all backed the prime minister.

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It is clear that the house does not support this deal but tonight's vote tells us nothing what it does support.

Punjabi-origin Virendra Sharma MP said: "If she won't stand aside, she should let the people decide instead and hold a second referendum, with remaining in the European Union as an option".

The House of Commons has confidence in the Government, but no confidence in its most important policy.

Corbyn accused May of belatedly attempting compromise with opponents only after it was obvious that the deal was destined to fail. The country feels genuinely sorry for the prime minister.

A spokesman for Corbyn said: "There can't be meaningful talks about how to find a deal that reflects the majority in Parliament and that can command a majority in Parliament while the threat of no deal, which would be disastrous for the country is still on the table".

Mrs May is likely to survive the challenge to her premiership as Tory MPs, aided and abetted by the DUP, baulk at the idea of a general election and the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.

"I have always believed that the best way forward is to leave in an orderly way with a good deal and have devoted much of the last two years negotiating such a deal..."

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Heavily pregnant Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, who postponed her planned Caesarean in order to vote, attended the Commons in a wheelchair. According to the Britain's parliamentary procedure, when a bill is rejected by the MPs, the prime minister has three sitting days to return to Parliament with a Plan B.

She invited leaders of opposition parties for talks on the way forward, ahead of her announcement on her next steps on January 21.

"Is she actually going to concede on some of these red lines?" While she's not yet publicly contemplating extending the Brexit deadline, May gave a heavy hint she won't allow the crash out of the bloc. "The potential is pretty scary", he told Langfitt, saying customs checks may make transport a nightmare. So unless someone extends the article 50 process in the meantime, it's hard to see how the United Kingdom doesn't simply crash out without a deal. The EU would have to agree, and officials are reported to be considering proposing a year-long delay. And the bloc's highest court has ruled that it is OK for the unilaterally reverse its decision to leave.

In Brussels, the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the withdrawal agreement MPs turned down was the only option and can not be renegotiated. "It would be completely extraordinary". Nothing about Tuesday's vote has altered that trajectory. "That is an extraordinary thing for a democracy to do". Juncker's statement said, "While we do not want this to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared". "A new plan is needed immediately".

Since both Britain and Ireland are now part of the European Union with its single market, people and goods flow freely between Ireland and Northern Ireland., with no need for customs checks.

Now, barring a miraculous last-minute renegotiation, May's deal and the backstop it included are dead.

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