Sunday 21 July 2019

Brexit latest: Theresa May narrowly survives vote of no confidence that threatened to take down her government

  • Vote of no confidence in government held at 7pm
  • Theresa May was on course to survive after DUP pledged support
  • Corbyn says May is in charge of a 'zombie government'
  • PM rules out revoking Article 50 but leaves door open to extension
British Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a confidence vote debate after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, in London, Britain, January 16, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS
British Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a confidence vote debate after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal, in London, Britain, January 16, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS
Theresa May sits down in Parliament after the vote on her Brexit deal.
Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

British Prime Minister Theresa May has narrowly survived a motion of no confidence this evening in the House of Commons, after the crushing defeat of her own deal left Britain's exit from the European Union in disarray.

May's win means that there will not be a general election and ministers will carry on in office.

MPs rejected Labour’s motion of no confidence in Theresa May’s Government by 325 votes to 306, majority 19.

Welcoming the result, Mrs May told the House of Commons: "I am pleased that this House has expressed its confidence in the Government.

Jeremy Corbyn Picture: PA
Jeremy Corbyn Picture: PA

"I do not take this responsibility lightly and my government will continue its work to increase our prosperity, guarantee our security and to strengthen our union.

"And yes, we will also continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise we made to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union."

She invited leaders of opposition parties to take part in individual meetings with her on the way forward for Brexit, starting on Wednesday evening.

Mrs May pledged to approach the talks "in a constructive spirit" and urged other parties to do the same, adding: "We must find solutions that are negotiable and command sufficient support in this House."

She said: "The House has put its confidence in this government.

"I stand ready to work with any member of this House to deliver on Brexit and ensure that this House retains the confidence of the British people."

But Mr Corbyn responded: "Before there can be any positive discussions about the way forward, the government must remove clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would come as a result of that."

Mrs May is now due to set out her alternative plan for EU withdrawal to MPs on January 21.

But she risks losing control of the Brexit process, as she must table a motion which can be amended by MPs.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled the motion of no confidence in an attempt to force a general election after May's Brexit deal suffered a heavy defeat in parliament on Tuesday.

The Labour leader opened the debate on his motion of no confidence earlier today in the government by attacking May for presiding over "the largest defeat in the history of our democracy".

Mr Corbyn said: "Last week they lost a vote on the Finance bill, that's what called supply. Yesterday they lost by the biggest margin ever, that's what's regarded as confidence.

"By any convention of this House, by any precedence, loss of both confidence and supply should mean they do the right thing and resign."

With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the United Kingdom is now in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.

With additional reporting from the Press Association

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