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Theresa May Fights No-Confidence Vote Amid Brexit Disarray

Wednesday 12/December/2018 - 08:17 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Hassnein Tayea
Britain’s beleaguered prime minister، Theresa May، will face a no-confidence vote on Wednesday within her own Conservative Party، as lawmakers upset with her handling of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union seek to topple her from power، New York Times reported.

Graham Brady، the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative lawmakers، announced Wednesday morning that he had received letters of protest from more than 48 Conservative members of Parliament، the number needed under party rules to trigger a vote on her leadership. He said the contest would take place Wednesday evening.

Mrs. May has been battered from multiple directions by her management of the European Union withdrawal، or Brexit. In particular، many hard-line Brexit supporters within her party believed she was not making a complete enough break with the bloc.

In recent days، she suffered two embarrassing setbacks in Parliament. Last week، the House of Commons voted her government in contempt of Parliament — the first time any prime minister had been censured in that way — for failing to release the advice her government’s lawyers had given on Brexit.

And on Monday، she postponed a vote on the Brexit agreement she had negotiated with the European Union، acknowledging that it stood to be defeated by “a significant margin.” In fact، lawmakers say، views on the topic، which has dominated British politics for nearly three years، are so fragmented that no approach has majority support in Parliament، and probably not among Conservatives، either.

A defiant Mrs. May appeared Wednesday morning outside 10 Downing Street، the prime minister’s official residence، to argue that the only beneficiaries of a vote of no confidence would be the opposition Labour Party.


“I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got،” she said.

“A change in leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it،” she added. “Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart would only create more division، when we should be standing together.”

Under the party’s rules Mrs. May needs to win around 158 votes in a secret ballot to remain as party leader and therefore prime minister. If she does so، then party lawmakers cannot mount another challenge to her leadership for a year. If she lost the vote، then the party would choose another leader over the coming weeks، and Mrs. May would not be eligible to compete for the position.

The move comes at a critical time for Brexit، with European Union leaders scheduled to discuss the matter at a meeting on Thursday and Friday. Under current law، Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29 and if there is no agreement on terms for an orderly withdrawal، it could suffer a chaotic and economically damaging no-deal exit.

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