May won a confidence vote but the Brexit battle is unchanged

Posted December 14, 2018

Theresa May has survived a confidence vote in her leadership by Conservative MPs, meaning she can continue to serve as prime minister.

The Prime Minister's statement came about an hour after it was confirmed the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, had received the 48 letters of no confidence from Tory MPs required to trigger a ballot on the leadership.

A Conservative Party official said: "The restoration of the whip had been under consideration for some time and the Chief Whip decided that in the circumstances of a leadership confidence ballot, it was right they have the whip restored to be able to vote in that".

They have been largely unhappy with the Irish backstop proposal.

While May has faced threats to her leadership with several cabinet ministers' resignations since the summer, the most serious challenge came as she published her agreement with the European Union on the terms of the U.K.'s withdrawal.

She heads back to Brussels on Thursday in a long-shot bid to wrest concessions that could win her some additional votes.

The Prime Minister needed to secure at least 159 votes and did so by fending off a rebellious group of 117 MPs to obtain 67% of the overall vote.

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Theresa May survived a confidence vote on Wednesday night.

May, who spent Tuesday touring European Union capitals to appeal for changes to sweeten her divorce deal for reluctant United Kingdom lawmakers, has until January 21 to hold a vote on the agreement in Parliament, a timetable that could be scuttled if she is replaced. And a good thing too, her supporters will quietly think to themselves, because defeat in that vote is certain.

He said the prime minister was trying to avoid the vote on the "botched" and "dismal" deal - and urged parliament to "take back control".

Labour, Tory rebels and the other opposition parties are now in the driver's seat as they threaten to bring down the entire Government.

"He would be an extraordinary moment for the Conservative Party - the first muslim Conservative Party leader, son of an immigrant bus driver who made it the hard way - that's an impressive story in itself".

The win staved off what would have been an ignominious end to her time as leader - and means she can not be challenged by her own party again for 12 months.

He urged the Prime Minister to "say to the European Union now "your £39 billion is fully at risk".

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Mrs Foster, whose 10 MPs prop up the minority Conservative administration, said she told the PM that "we were not seeking assurances or promises, we wanted fundamental legal text changes".

If May wins tonight's vote, she will be safe from further leadership challenges for 12 months.

The Northern Irish party that props up her government - and strongly opposes her withdrawal deal - said the fundamental arithmetic in parliament was unchanged despite the confidence vote victory, and the backstop must go.

As it stands, the United Kingdom and the European Union are at a political impasse, and the current Brexit withdrawal agreement will not win approval in Parliament.

"... I recognise the strength of feeling in the House of Commons and thats what I will be putting to colleagues today".

"A lot of the tweets in support of her yesterday were about "getting on with the job" of Brexit - a lot of them want it over and done with so the next election scheduled in 2022 can be possibly on a different playing field, it can be in a post-Brexit environment and they can talk about other issues that they might be less divided on".

However, the opposition Labour party has hinted that it is close to tabling its own no-confidence motion in May's government. "But the problem is that both in relation to Brexit and..."

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A former Bank of England employee and daughter of a Church of England pastor, May has been widely praised for a punishing work ethic and dedication to duty, but her premiership has been characterised by obduracy in the face of crises.