Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
The size of the defeat of May’s awful Brexit deal, which would have rendered the UK stuck in the EU with even less power, was the largest in the House of Commons history at 230 votes (432 to 202). Her deal was widely expected to fail, which curiously seemed to delay the vote being taken in December until now. In response, Jeremy Corbyn has called for a no-confidence vote. According to RT,
Theresa May’s Tory government is to face a vote of no confidence after the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, tabled the motion following the PM’s Brexit deal being voted down by parliament on Tuesday evening.
If May’s government are defeated, which requires a majority of one in the house of commons, the UK prime minister will have 14 days to stay in office. A second confidence vote will then take place – failure to win such a vote would automatically trigger a general election.
Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, is calling for a second Brexit vote. According to the Daily Express, supporters of Remain, who welcomed May’s failure, now would like to see Article 50 suspended and a second Brexit vote take place.
Was this the intention of presenting a terrible deal to Parliament all along? Will May’s failure actually be a success in terms of preventing Brexit?
Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured) meanwhile is calling for the law to be respected and for a no-deal Brexit simply to take place as it should:
“Parliament passed with an overwhelming majority the Article 50 act to begin a two year process. It passed the withdrawal act, both of these in the knowledge that if no deal was agreed, we would leave without a deal. An indicative vote cannot challenge the law which was passed by Parliament. The Government should respect the law, Parliament has the means to legislate, if it hasn’t legislated, the law it passed what if the withdrawal act was passed in June of last year. Most of the MP’s saying we can’t leave without a deal actually voted for a law that provides for us to leave without a deal.“
March 29 is the date of the UK’s departure under Article 50.
Theresa May’s Brexit plan rejected by British parliament
UK parliament voted down May’s Brexit plan on Tuesday by 432 votes to 202 – a margin of 230 – following lengthy debates on the matter. The vote was originally set to be held in mid-December, but was postponed amid fears that MPs would reject the unpopular deal between May and Brussels.
The delay failed to prompt any meaningful changes to aid the PM’s cause, as it was ultimately rejected by parliament. The development comes just 10 weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU, bringing even more uncertainty to the already turbulent Brexit process.
Responding to the resounding defeat, May promised that her government “respects the will of the House” but said that it was her “duty to deliver” Brexit for British citizens who voted to leave the EU in 2016.
Every day that passes without a deal, May said, means “more uncertainty, more bitterness and more rancour.” She said it was not her government’s strategy to “run down the clock” to March 29, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, adding that she believes the best way to move forward is in an “orderly way.”
May had earlier warned that a no-deal scenario made the prospect of a united Ireland, independent Scotland and ultimate breakup of the UK more likely. She called a no-deal scenario “the real threat to our union.”
May admitted that it was now necessary to confirm if the House still has confidence in the government and said that if a motion of no confidence was tabled, it would be debated in parliament on Wednesday.
Standing to speak directly after May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister had suffered a “catastrophic defeat” and immediately tabled that motion of no confidence in her leadership.
Shortly after the vote, a spokesman for May said the government would be in contact with Brussels officials over the coming days and confirmed Downing Street had not ruled out a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The Irish government said it regretted the outcome of the vote in the British parliament and urged London to set out how it proposes to move forward with Brexit. Referring to the backstop, Dublin said it recalled the “clear position” of the EU that May’s withdrawal agreement was not open for renegotiation.
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