Theresa May wins as Corbyn’s no confidence motion fails
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Theresa May’s government has won a confidence motion with 325 to 306 votes – just one day after she suffered the biggest parliamentary defeat ever over her Brexit deal.
A new general election was avoided after a majority of 19 MPs showed support in the prime minister, who failed to get backing on her Withdrawal Agreement from 118 of her own MPs on Tuesday.
May invited the leaders of opposition parties to meet with her one-on-one to discuss a way forward for Brexit, starting already tonight.
She told MPs that the Government would continue to work to increase ‘prosperity, guarantee our security and to strengthen our union’. Advertisement Advertisement
May continued: ‘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.
Corbyn said May’s ‘zombie’ administration had lost its right to govern, while the PM said a general election was simply ‘not in the national interest’.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said: ‘she is a prime minister without a majority for her flagship policy, with no authority and no plan B.’
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said May had provided ‘inspirational leadership’ at the end of the debate.
She is expected to meet with Cabinet Ministers, the DUP and senior MPs from all parties to discuss what it will take to get a Brexit deal through.
She then has to report back to the House of Commons by Monday with a plan of action and further debates, and hopefully agree on a Plan B she can bring to Brussels. Advertisement Advertisement
If the Cabinet agrees on a plan, May is expected to travel to Brussels next week in an attempt to convince the EU leaders to support the fresh Brexit plan.
After Tuesday’s defeat, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged the UK to ‘clarify its intentions’ before warning: ‘time is almost up.’
Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk appeared to tell the British PM to cancel Brexit after her humiliating defeat. If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) January 15, 2019
EU Chief Michel Barnier has insisted the Irish backstop ‘must remain’ a part of the ‘new’ Brexit deal. Receptionist blinded by spiked cocktails on holiday can’t get guide dog
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is still time for negotiations between the EU and Britain.
She told reporters in Berlin: ‘We will of course do everything to find an orderly solution, but we are also prepared if there is no orderly solution.’ Advertisement
May has invited MPs to cross-party talks for ‘genuinely negotiable’ discussions on the future of Brexit. The Labour leader has confirmed he has not been invited to such talks.
May’s spokesman told Metro.co.uk after the vote on Tuesday: ‘The prime minister still wants to deliver the Brexit people voted for. They did not vote for a no-deal Brexit but leaving in an orderly fashion.
‘She will be holding meetings with senior parliamentarians from different parties over the coming days. This will not include Jeremy Corbyn.’
There is no limit to the number of no confidence votes Corbyn can call. What are the different Brexit options the UK can still take?
The UK can still cancel Brexit and stay in the EU if a second referendum is called or Article 50 gets revoked .
If Brexit gets cancelled, the UK would retain membership of the EU under existing terms.
Despite the huge defeat, May’s Withdrawal Agreement may still be on the table in an amended form.
If no alternative deal is agreed, the default option is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on March 29.
The UK could also opt to go for the ‘Canada option’ , which is an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU.
The ‘Canada-style’ agreement would allow the UK to leave the EU institutions, end freedom of movement and strike new trade deals elsewhere in the world.
Another alternative is the ‘Norway option’ and become a member of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and seek a close relationship with the EU short of full membership. Advertisement