Theresa May to face vote of no confidence after she suffers crushing Brexit deal defeat

Posted On: 
15th January 2019

Theresa May will fight for her political life on Wednesday after Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government.

PA

The Prime Minister announced that time would be set aside on Wednesday to "confirm whether the Government still enjoys the confidence of the House" - as Mr Corbyn pressed ahead with his plan to oust Mrs May and secure a general election.

However, the Government is expected to win the vote as the DUP - which props up the minority administration - has vowed to back the Prime Minister, while no Tory MPs have said they will vote against her.

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The move came after MPs voted 432 to 202 - a majority of 230 - against the withdrawal agreement she reached with Brussels after more than two years of negotiations.

Confirming he had tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government, Mr Corbyn said: "On the most important issue facing us, this government has lost the confidence of this House and this country.

"I therefore Mr Speaker, inform you, that I have tabled a motion of no confidence in this government.

"I am pleased that motion will be debated tomorrow so this House can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion of no confidence in this government."

Under the Fixed-Terms Parliament Act, a simple majority of MPs would need to vote for tomorrow's motion saying that the "House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government".

The Commons would then have just 14 days to pass a motion saying it "has confidence in Her Majesty's Government" or a general election would be automatically triggered.

The move came after Mrs May made clear that she would allow other opposition parties to table a confidence motion if the Labour leader opted not to do so.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, Mrs May told the House ministers would "listen" to the result, which saw 118 Tory MPs defy the party whip to vote against her.

"It is clear that the House does not support this deal," she said.

"But tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support. Nothing about how - or even if - it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum Parliament decided to hold."

Mrs May added: "First, we need to confirm whether this Government still enjoys the confidence of the House.

"I believe that it does, but given the scale and importance of tonight’s vote it is right that others have the chance to test that question if they wish to do so.

"I can therefore confirm that if the Official Opposition table a confidence motion this evening in the form required by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the Government will make time to debate that motion tomorrow.

"And if, as happened before Christmas, the Official Opposition decline to do so, we will – on this occasion - consider making time tomorrow to debate any motion in the form required from the other opposition parties, should they put one forward."

A spokesperson for the DUP said: "We will support the government in confidence vote".

And a source from the hardcore pro-Brexit Tory MP faction the Euroepean Research Group said it would be backing the Government tomorrow.