May's govt faces no-confidence vote after huge Brexit defeat

17 January, 2019, 09:08 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why do so many people talk about a'hard Brexit and a'soft Brexit

"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 in a statement outside her Downing Street office.

May, who leads a fractious government, a divided Parliament and a gridlocked Brexit process, said she was staying put.

The prime minister is expected to hold meetings with both Tory Brexiteers and the DUP - both of which rejected her withdrawal deal earlier this week - on Thursday.

There is a long way to go to bring Britain back together after the divisive 2016 Brexit referendum, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to back her government in a confidence vote so she could finish the job.

The vote of no confidence in the government scheduled for Wednesday.

However, she has been criticised for her unwillingness to compromise or alter her red lines.

Labour lawmaker Ben Bradshaw accused May of being "in a total state of denial" about how radically her Brexit plan needed to change.

The Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru all spoke with Theresa May on Wednesday.

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After defeating the no-confidence motion, May said she would hold talks "in a constructive spirit" with leaders of opposition parties and other lawmakers in a bid to find a way forward for Britain's European Union exit. May said she was disappointed Corbyn had not met her yet but added "our door remains open".

Her deal included both the withdrawal agreement on the terms on which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and a political declaration for the future relationship. The preferred choice of the party is a second referendum.

"The reason that I am trying to do that is because there are an overwhelming majority in parliament against a no deal". She has been reluctant to do so up until now because pro-Brexit Conservative MPs want to see this hardest of Brexits remain a viable option.

But with no clear majority in Parliament for any single alternative, there's a growing chance that Britain may seek to postpone its departure date while politicians work on a new plan - or even hand the decision back to voters in a new referendum on Britain's European Union membership.

The Times newspaper claimed Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom and other cabinet Brexiteers want Mrs May to present MPs with a "Plan B" on Monday which would include a promise to impose a time-limit on the Northern Irish backstop - the fallback plan to avoid any return to physical border checks between the country and Ireland - and to negotiate a Canada-style free trade deal.

It is extraordinary that, after two and a half years as prime minister, this was the first time she had invited leaders of other parties to take part in discussions about getting Britain out of its Brexit paralysis.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc was stepping up preparations for a disorderly "no-deal" Brexit after Parliament's actions left Europe "fearing more than ever that there is a risk" of a cliff-edge departure. "We urge the political leadership of both the main parties to support a People's Vote", it said.

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