United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday survived a no-confidence vote tabled to remove her government, by 325 to 306, a day after Parliament voted against her European Union withdrawal agreement.
Rebel Conservative Party leaders and ally Democratic Unionist Party voted to defeat the Labour Party’s motion to remove her government. The no-confidence motion was backed by all the opposition parties.
May appealed to legislators across all political parties to come together to break the impasse on Brexit deal. She said she believed Parliament had a duty to find a solution. “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, according to Reuters. “That’s why I am inviting MPs from all parties to come together to find a way forward. This is now the time to put self-interest aside.”
After the vote, May held meetings with several party leaders, but Jeremy Corbyn – the main opposition leader – refused to meet her unless a no-deal Brexit was ruled out. “I am disappointed that the leader of the Labour party has not so far chosen to take part – but our door remains open,” May said, according to The Guardian.
May said she will return to Parliament on Monday with an alternative Brexit strategy after holding discussions with members of the opposition.
Ahead of the vote, Corbyn told Parliament that May was leading a “zombie government” and their Brexit agreement was officially dead, AFP reported. May must do the right thing and resign, he added. “It is clear that this government are not capable of winning support for their core plan on the most vital issue facing this country,” he said. “The prime minister has lost control and the government have lost the ability to govern.”
The withdrawal agreement sets out terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union on March 29. Among other things, British and European Union leaders in November committed to avoiding a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. The backstop is a “safety net” which will preserve a border without customs and regulatory checks through a series of measures. There are differences between the United Kingdom and the European Union over the terms of this backstop.