Theresa May will remain as British prime minister – for now at least.
She’s survived a no confidence vote, held behind closed doors on Wednesday (December 12) evening.
It had been triggered by Eurosceptic, pro-Brexit lawmakers within her party, angry that the exit deal she’s agreed with the European Union still closely aligns the UK with the bloc.
May needed a simple majority to win the vote and that’s something she secured, with 200 out of 317 saying they want her to stay.
Though that does mean more than a third of her own lawmakers don’t think she should be leading the party.
May acknowledged that after hearing the result.
“I’m pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot. Whilst I’m grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me and I’ve listened to what they said. Following this ballot, we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country.”
But with the leadership sideshow now eased, the main event is still proving troublesome.
The deep divisions caused by Brexit within her government and parliament remain and the only thing that many pro- and anti-Brexit lawmakers agree on is that they don’t like the withdrawal deal the prime minister has negotiated with Brussels.
On Monday (December 10) she postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal amid certainty she would lose.
Instead she went back to Brussels seeking further reassurances. The EU said on Wednesday (December 12) that it was working on giving her those but has said it will not renegotiate the deal.
Exit day is a little over three months away and if May cannot get parliament’s backing for a deal, and Brexit is not delayed, then the UK could be heading for a disorderly exit that investors fear could send the $2.8 trillion economy into turmoil.
Labour’s policies would be devastating to businesses and working families across our country.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) December 12, 2018