Jeremy Corbyn tables motion of no confidence in British PM Theresa May

18 December, 2018, 12:30 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Jeremy Corbyn has gone back and forth on the issue today

Corbyn told Parliament his motion says: "This House has no confidence in the prime minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away" on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

May wants the increasingly serious no-deal preparations to dominate the Brexit discussion at cabinet, even though ministers anxious about the stalled negotiations with Brussels are openly canvassing alternatives if her deal is voted down next month.

The vote refers to confidence in Mrs May's leadership specifically rather than in the government as whole, and so it is conceivable that rebel Tories could vote with Labour in order to bring down the PM and have her replaced.

In the face of calls for a second referendum to resolve the impasse, she has argued that this would betray the 2016 result and undermine public confidence in politics.

The vote was supposed to take place last week, but May canceled it at the last minute when it became clear lawmakers would resoundingly reject the agreement.

It was duly reported in the lead-up to Theresa May's latest Brexit statement that Jeremy Corbyn would threaten a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister in his response. "I continue to believe that this is a good deal". "It is a compromise". "There is no deal that can meet all the promises made for it - or one that is as good as the deal we already have in the European Union".

The longer it takes, voices urging a change of tack are getting louder and the pressure on the main opposition Labour Party to move against the government is rising.

The so-called "meaningful vote" on the prime minister's draft deal was meant to be held last week, but she made a decision to delay it in a bid to avoid a humiliating defeat.


After a Sunday Times report on plans for a new referendum, Barwell posted on Twitter that "I am not planning a 2nd referendum with political opponents or anyone else", adding it would "further divide the country when we should be trying to bring people back together".

She said it would do "irreparable damage" to the integrity of British politics.

May's deal is loathed both by pro-Brexit lawmakers, who think it keeps Britain bound too closely to the bloc, and pro-Europeans, who see it as inferior to staying in the EU.

Earlier on Monday, an European Union spokesman said it had provided the "clarifications" requested on the contentious issue of the Northern Ireland border backstop and "no further meetings were foreseen".

"She [May] is going to try and make this a choice between her deal and no deal and say "you have no alternative, you might not like what I'm offering but you like the only other pathway [a no-deal departure] even less, so choose the lesser of two evils", Simon Usherwood, a reader in politics at the University of Surrey and deputy director of the United Kingdom in a Changing Europe group, said.

The cabinet will discuss whether the government should ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit when it meets later this morning.

Pro-EU Cabinet ministers, meanwhile, are seeking to work with opposition politicians to find a way out of the morass.

He was replying to veteran former minister Frank Field, who asked if there was "a way of moving to a vote" on May's agreement after the Government postponed the debate last week. But the idea has support in Cabinet.

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