Theresa May survives no confidence vote: what next?
Narrow win changes focus of Brexit strategy after PM calls for ideas
Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a no confidence vote in the House of Commons, eking out a narrow victory, after her planned Brexit deal was soundly rejected by MPs.
The government won the confidence of parliament by 325 votes to 306. However that result still leaves May with no clear way forward for Brexit as the deadline for the UK to leave the EU looms.
Speaking after the dramatic vote, the PM called on the leaders of other parties to come forward with their ideas on how to move forward.
“So now MPs have made clear what they don’t want, we must all work constructively together to set out what parliament does want,” May said.
The Guardian reports that she has met with representatives from the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, with plans already made to meet with other groups of MPs later this morning.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that “before any ‘positive discussions’ can take place, the prime minister should rule out a no-deal Brexit”, reports the BBC.
A spokesman for Corbyn accused the government of trying to “blackmail” opposition parties to accept a compromise plan “against the threat of a chaotic exit on March 29”, the Financial Times says.
A number of opposition parties agree with Labour’s demand for a “no-deal Brexit” to be taken off the table.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has told business leaders that this could happen within days using a backbench bill, according to an exclusive report from The Daily Telegraph.
He said this could potentially lead to Article 50 being extended, says the newspaper.
“Could we extend the Article 50 deadline to give us more time? The simple answer is that the EU would not consider the request for the extension... unless or until we have a clear plan to go forward,” he is quoted as saying.
“The sequence has to be first to reach out to opinion across the Commons to establish the terms on which we can build a majority for a way forward.”