Theresa May survives no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly survived another no-confidence vote Wednesday, one day after Parliament overwhelmingly struck down her Brexit plan.

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves No.10 Downing St for the Houses of Parliament, the day after losing the Brexit vote with the biggest government defeat in history on Wednesday. Photo by Hugo Philpott
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves No.10 Downing St for the Houses of Parliament, the day after losing the Brexit vote with the biggest government defeat in history on Wednesday. Photo by Hugo Philpott

The House of Commons voted 325-306 in favor of May’s government. The Conservative Party leader said she wants to begin talks with the leaders of opposition parties on a path forward on Brexit terms.
Both Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said they would only engage in talks if May rules out a no-deal Brexit. Meanwhile, SNP leader Ian Blackford said the possibility of a second referendum and extending article 50 must be options for him to take part in talks.

The House of Commons handily rejected May’s plan to leave the European Union in a lopsided 432-202 vote Tuesday. One of the biggest hang-ups has been finding a solution to how the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be handled.
Nigel Farage, a British politician and one of the most vocal Brexit supporters, slammed both May and lawmakers before Tuesday’s vote. On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he blamed lawmakers for not supporting “the will of the people” and criticized May for “weak” leadership in getting a deal done.

On the other side, a group of more than 70 Labor Party legislators said renegotiation of a Brexit deal is futile and a second referendum must be held. The first, in 2016, started Britain’s departure process.

“We now face a moment of national crisis, where the facts and the views of many people have changed and are continuing to change,” the group said. “It is now clear renegotiation is not a realistic prospect. No deal would be a catastrophe which we must resolutely oppose.
May beat back a no-confidence vote in her Conservative Party last month after indicating she would step down as prime minister before the 2022 election.

ByClyde Hughes and Danielle Haynes