Brexit: Theresa May's deal is voted down in historic Commons defeat

 

 

History has been made with the Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal being rejected by 230 votes - the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. However, she later saw off a bid to remove her government from power by 325 to 306 votes, the day after her plan for leaving the EU was rejected. May must now present a new plan for EU withdrawal to parliament by 21st January. She stated that, "it will not be an easy task, but MPs know they have a duty to act in the national interest, reach a consensus and get this done".

Many members of public where against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who tabled the no confidence motion and argue that he is not playing nice in a time of crisis. Corbyn has always stated that he believes in dialogue, but when it truly matters, he says no. However, inside the Labour movement there are people who might accuse him of helping to make Brexit happen if he takes part.

But across Parliament, for a very long time now, even some MPs who were on the prime minister's side to start with have been intensely frustrated that she hasn't listened. It will take a lot more than a cup of tea in Downing Street to bring her many critics on board.

What happened in the vote of no confidence?


Teresa May survived a vote of no confidence by the skin of her teeth by 19 votes, thanks to the backing of 10 members of the DUP. had they switched allegiance, the government would have lost by one vote.

This came after MPs voted against Mrs May's plans for Brexit on 15th January by a historic margin when it was rejected by 230 votes - the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

Now the prime minister has invited party leaders and other MPs to discuss what needs to be done to reach Parliamentary consensus on any future deal.

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

Corbyn's red line


Mr Corbyn has said that before any "positive discussions" can take place, the prime minister should rule out a no-deal Brexit.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it wasn't a straightforward judgement for the Labour Party, as many members do not want Brexit to happen - meaning Mr Corbyn could be criticised for helping the process if he attends.

The view from other parties


The SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said that the extension of Article 50, the ruling out of a no-deal Brexit, and the option of a second EU referendum would have to form the basis of future discussions.

Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, said they were "committed to finding a real solution" but "that means taking a no deal Brexit off the table and a People's Vote on our European future".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said he was encouraged by Mrs May's "willingness to talk about these issues in detail". The preferred choice of the party is another referendum.

But there remains deep division among Mrs May's own MPs - including within her cabinet - about possible compromises, such as the option of staying in a customs union.

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 that 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.

Mrs May has insisted she will "deliver on the verdict of the British people" and that she is seeking the "widest possible views across parliament" on a Brexit deal.

She said: "I am disappointed that the leader of the Labour Party has not so far chosen to take part, but our door remains open."

Calls for new referendum


Meanwhile, Mr Blackford has also written to Mr Corbyn, along with other opposition leaders, to urge him to back another referendum as Labour's official position.

And, in a letter published in the Times newspaper, more than 170 leading business figures called for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to back a second referendum on withdrawal from the European Union.

"The priority now is to stop us crashing out of the EU with no deal at all.

"The only feasible way to do this is by asking the people whether they still want to leave the EU... politicians must not waste any more time on fantasies. We urge the political leadership of both the main parties to support a People's Vote," it said.

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