British PM likely to win vote of no confidence: media reports

British PM likely to win vote of no confidence: media reports

Troy Powers
December 12, 2018

A challenge was triggered after 15 per cent of the Conservative members of parliament (MPs) wrote letters demanding a confidence vote to the chairman of the party's "1922 Committee", which represents those lawmakers who have no government jobs.

Facing nearly certain defeat, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday postponed a vote in Parliament on her Brexit deal, saying she would go back to European Union leaders to seek changes to the divorce agreement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to fight an upcoming no-confidence vote "with everything I've got".

A majority of Tory MPs have publicly said they will back the PM in the vote, which runs for two hours from 18:00 GMT (7am NZT), but it is a secret ballot. And today's vote flies in the face of giving her the chance to finish the job.

If May survives the leadership vote Wednesday night she will remain safe in her position as leader and prime minister for a year.

"She is battling hard for our country and no one is better placed to ensure we deliver on the British people's decision to leave the European Union", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is greeted by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte upon her arrival in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.

"Being PM (is the) most hard job imaginable right now and the last thing the country needs is a damaging and long leadership contest". Her opponents needed only 48 lawmakers to get this far, but now need 158 lawmakers to win it.

Parliament has until January 21 to vote on the deal, a little more than two months before Britain's March 29 departure date.

Theresa May has secured the backing of Conservative MPs to stay on as prime minister and finish the job of leading Britain out of the European Union - but only after promising to step aside before 2022.

The long-running schism over Europe in her party contributed to the fall of all three previous Conservative premiers - David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

However, some lawmakers who have backed May publicly have said in private that they will vote against her, according to British political commentators.

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Seeking to consolidate her position, May called an election in June 2017.

"The last thing our country needs right now is a Conservative party leadership election", tweeted Home Secretary Sajid Javid, tipped as a future leader. The final two contenders would then be put to the national party membership in a postal ballot.

Mr Juncker told MEPs the agreement was the "best deal possible" and the "only deal possible".

May cancelled a Wednesday trip to Dublin to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar so she could stay in London and battle for lawmakers' support.

If the no-confidence vote succeeds, then the ruling Conservative Party will have to choose a new leader.

Instead, she said she would visit European leaders and seek "additional reassurance" on some of the deal's more contentious elements.

Labour had threatened to call a confidence motion in May if she lost Tuesday's vote, but pulled this after her Northern Irish allies pledged to support her.

But European Council president Donald Tusk warned the bloc would not reopen the agreement secured in November after months of negotiations, with Brexit looming on 29 March.

Several leading Brexiteers, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, have said loudly that they think they could get a better deal with the European Union and are likely to enter a race to replace her.

But she told Parliament on Monday "there will be no enduring and successful Brexit without some compromise on both sides of the debate".

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator, expressed his disbelief at the political chaos engulfing Westminster.