Theresa May’s Tory government is to face a vote of no confidence after the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, tabled the motion following the PM’s Brexit deal being voted down by parliament on Tuesday evening.
If May’s government are defeated, which requires a majority of one in the house of commons, the UK prime minister will have 14 days to stay in office. A second confidence vote will then take place – failure to win such a vote would automatically trigger a general election.
Tabling the motion, Corbyn said that May had faced a “catastrophic defeat.”
“Delay and denial has reached the end of the line,” he said.
Corbyn said May had repeatedly failed the British people and failed to deliver on her promise to secure a good Brexit deal.
“She cannot seriously believe that after two years of failure, she is capable of negotiating a good deal for the people of this country,” he said, adding that the “most important issue” facing the country is that the government has lost the confidence “of this House and this country.”
May had earlier lashed out at Corbyn, accusing him of being “long on criticism and short on coherence.”
It is expected that the vote of no confidence will take place at 7pm on Wednesday.
The main sticking point for May on the Brexit deal has been the contentious Irish backstop — a guarantee Dublin sought and won from Brussels that there will be no ‘hard’ border imposed on the island of Ireland when the UK leaves the EU. May had attempted to gain concessions from Brussels to assuage the fears of pro-Brexit Tories and Northern Irish DUP MPs who were unhappy with the backstop deal, but did not secure any legal changes.
After May’s deal was defeated on Tuesday evening, DUP MPs said they would still support her government in the no confidence vote on Wednesday, saying they never sought a change of government, but urged May once again to return to Brussels to get a better deal.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the Scottish National Party supported Corbyn’s tabling of a no confidence motion, describing the vote as “a defeat of historic proportions” for May. Sturgeon accused the prime minister of wasting “valuable time” by delaying the vote in December when it was clear she did not have the support needed.
Sturgeon said the “only credible option” remaining was to hold a second Brexit referendum. That was also the only option that would “allow Scotland’s democratic wish to remain in Europe to be respected,” she added.