Following the landslide defeat of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party quickly moved to call for a vote of no confidence in the full House of Commons, as Ed discussed yesterday morning. There seemed to be some confusion on social media yesterday over how they could do this when May had just survived such a vote and was supposedly insulated against another for one year. The explanation is that the previous no-confidence vote was only among the Conservative Party and their internal rules forbid repeating such a challenge for twelve months. This was a vote of the entire House of Commons.
Roughly a week ago, when it became obvious that the Brexit deal wasn’t going to be approved, I predicted that May would most likely beat back such a challenge. The Tories may not like the deal May negotiated with the EU Parliament, but they like the idea of teaming up with and potentially handing over power to Labour even less. Sure enough, Corbyn’s vote was called and the Prime Minister slipped the noose by a thin margin. (NY Post)
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has survived a no-confidence vote called after May’s Brexit deal was overwhelmingly rejected by lawmakers.
The House of Commons expressed confidence in the government by 325 votes to 306, meaning May can remain in office.
Had the government lost, Britain would have faced an election within weeks while preparing to leave the European Union on March 29.
The Prime Minister is still in power and she supposedly has until Monday to come up with a new Brexit deal proposal to offer her nation. How anyone thinks that’s going to happen in a successful fashion is a mystery. They’ve been working on some sort of deal for years now and are no closer to a nationally acceptable package that the EU would sign off on than when they began.
The reason I wanted to bring this up again is that much of this debate ignores the underlying reality that British politicians don’t seem to want to say aloud. During the initial referendum, the British people voted (narrowly) to leave the European Union, but they were voting on an idea, not an actual plan. They held the referendum and tallied the votes without having even a hint of how the objective would be achieved. And now that lack of foresight is coming back to haunt them.
The reality is that the goals of Great Britain and the EU are completely at odds, but both sides need to agree on a deal or the Brits will be forced to leave the union without any deal in place. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Ireland and its borders, the trade and transfer of goods across the channel or travel restrictions between the islands and the continent. The EU doesn’t want anyone to leave and will seek to punish defectors with a harsh deal at the negotiating table. The Brits want a better deal that makes future dealings with other European nations go more smoothly.
The point is, there was never going to be a deal that the British Parliament was going to like. That put the Prime Minister in an untenable position. In the end, it was either going to be her deal, a No Deal Brexit, or Article 50 would have to be pushed back or canceled entirely, leading to a second referendum.
And this explains, once again, what is probably the biggest reason that Theresa May is still residing at 10 Downing Street. If they get rid of her, somebody else would be stuck with the job. And under the current conditions, nobody really wants it.