Theresa May’s government survives no-confidence vote

Ann Santiago
January 17, 2019

The gasps of Britain's politicians were the overture to what will be weeks of turmoil in Parliament, and perhaps the death knell for the Brexit project in its entirety.

"We must find a solution that commands sufficient support in this house", she said. "Nothing about how, or even if, it intends to honour the decision the British people took in a referendum parliament chose to hold", she said.

This would mean overnight European Union laws and customs and the free movement of goods, services and people will cease. Members of Parliament have also objected to the size of the cash settlement for the EU and the level of access to European markets after the split. So why not establish a government of all the talents prepared to put the common national interest first and foremost, basing decisions dispassionately on evidence now available?

"Voters should be able to have their say on whether the government's deal - which is the only negotiated form of Brexit on offer - is how they want to proceed, or if we should stick with the deal we have now". "She just keeps on going".

"It might have been more sensible to get some consensus behind what she was doing sooner rather than being in a situation of trying to persuade MPs right at the last minute to actually back the deal". The country feels genuinely sorry for the prime minister. But these aren't normal times.

MPs have rejected Theresa May's Brexit plans by an emphatic 432 votes to 202 in a historic vote which has thrown the future of her administration and the nature of the UK's European Union withdrawal into doubt.

The mood in Parliament after the vote was surprisingly upbeat. They were denied their moment in December, when May pulled the vote. Some people are confident that if May threatens to walk away, having proved once and for all that her parliament hates the deal, the European Union will blink.

The DUP's Nigel Dodds said the confidence vote highlighted the importance of the confidence-and-supply agreement in place, while Labour MPs made a gesture in his direction indicating money.

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May in the Commons as MPs debate a motion of no confidence. Labour's economy spokesman John McDonnell complained the premier had not reached out to Corbyn.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called the government a "zombie" administration. "The prime minister will speak with senior parliamentarians across the House and seek to find a way that meets with a majority".

"As things stand, it seems more likely than ever that the leaving date will be delayed", said Dean Turner, U.K. economist at UBS Global Wealth Management.

The question is what that route forward looks like.


Speculation is also growing on both sides of the Channel that Ms May could ask to delay Brexit whatever happens, although she denies this.

Another issue is the lack of time, with less than 80 days before the United Kingdom leaves the EU. She will return to the House on Monday to table an amendable motion and make a statement about her plan B after her deal suffered a historic defeat.

Some in May's Conservatives back a no-deal Brexit, and urged her to take that route.

Brexiteers banged drums and rang a "liberty" bell, while pro-EU demonstrators handed out anti-Brexit stickers in Parliament Square beside two huge video screens set up for the live broadcast of the final speeches and the vote.

If no party successfully gains a majority, an early general election would be triggered.

And there's more uncertainty to come.

"The British people already voted on Brexit emphatically back in 2016".

The no deal route is "the only way of guaranteeing British sovereignty", Gardiner said.

May's government is likewise split.

May promised to consult lawmakers on future moves, but gave little indication of what she plans to do next.

As for sterling strength, he said this is because "the market apparently thinks that at this point, no agreement is better than some agreement, because it buys time and increases the possibility that the country will change its mind entirely about Brexit".

The shared currency was flat at $1.1405, compared with $1.1415 late Tuesday. "It is very important to respect that vote, to respect the democratic will of the British people", he said on FOX Business' "After the Bell" on Tuesday.

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