Vote of confidence in Theresa May's government ‘inevitable’ if Brexit vote is lost, Keir Starmer says

Posted On: 
2nd December 2018

A vote of confidence in Theresa May's government is "inevitable" if her Brexit deal falls, Keir Starmer has said.

Keir Starmer said the vote could be inevitable
Credit: 
Sky News

In a move which dramatically increases the chances of a snap election, the Shadow Brexit Secretary said his party would look to trigger a confidence vote in the government should her deal fail to win majority supprt in the Commons.

Up to 100 Tory MPs are expected to vote against Mrs May's plan when it goes to a vote on 11 December.

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Speaking to Sky’s Sophie Ridge, Sir Keir said: “We’ve got nine days to go so we will have to see how the vote goes, but it looks like a considerable number of Tory MPs are going to vote against it.

"It looks like the DUP are not and the other opposition parties not, so I think the Prime Minister is going to struggle between now and the vote. People sort of praise her resilience, but at the moment I don’t think this is resilience. I think it is plowing on regardless.”

He added: “If she loses that vote, the legislation that we have already passed says she must come back to the House and make a statement about what she is going to do next.

"Now technically she has 21 days to do that but probably she would come back the next day, so we need to see what that is. But it seems to me that if the Prime Minister has lost a vote of that significance then that has to be a question of confidence in her government.”

Pressed on whether Labour would move the motion before Parliament, he added: “I think it is inevitable that we would seek to move that. Obviously it’ll depend on what happens in nine days.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly refused to layout her plans for if her Brexit deal fails to gain approval from MPs.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, she said: “What I fear is that there are those in parliament who are trying to frustrate Brexit, who are trying to not deliver on what British people voted for.

“We can seize the opportunity, we can deliver Brexit, we can get that brighter future for our country, we can have certainty for the way ahead — or, if the vote doesn’t go through, then it will be more uncertainty and more division.”