UK government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

Updated January 16, 2019

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Though defeat was widely expected, the scale of the rout — 432-202 — was devastating for May’s leadership. — File
Though defeat was widely expected, the scale of the rout — 432-202 — was devastating for May’s leadership. — File

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a no-confidence vote on Wednesday, a day after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal by an historic margin.

May is battling to save her job after staking her political reputation on a last-ditch effort to win support for the divorce agreement she negotiated with the European Union.

Though defeat was widely expected, the scale of the rout — 432-202 — was devastating for May’s leadership.

Immediately after the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a no-confidence motion, saying it will give Parliament a chance to give its verdict “on the sheer incompetence of this government.”

Still, most analysts predict May will survive because lawmakers from her Conservative Party are unlikely to vote against her, and the Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the government, has said it will continue to back the prime minister. If the government were to lose, it would have 14 days to overturn the result or face a national election.

After the biggest defeat for any British government since the 1920s, May promised to consult with senior lawmakers on future moves, but gave little indication of what she plans to do next. Parliament has given the government until Monday to come up with a new plan for leaving the EU.

“The House has spoken and the government will listen,” May said after the vote, which leaves her Brexit plan on life support just 10 weeks before Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29.