Jeremy Corbyn tables no confidence motion in Theresa May

Leroy Wright
January 13, 2019

The Prime Minister had said the Commons would have the chance to debate her Withdrawal Agreement in the week MPs return to Westminster after Christmas on January 7.

By targeting Mrs May personally, rather than tabling a motion of no confidence in the Government, Mr Corbyn's move would not - if passed - necessarily begin the parliamentary process which could lead to a general election.

Just before May's statement, Labour, which has been under pressure to push for a vote of no confidence in the government, threatened to call for a symbolic vote of confidence in May if she failed to name a date for the vote in parliament.

However, if she does allow the vote to go ahead, Mrs May faces the prospect of a large rebellion from MPs within her own party who also voted against her in last week's internal Conservative Party motion of no confidence.

The Labour leader tabled a long-threatened motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, after she set out the timetable for MPs to pass judgment on her deal with Brussels in January.

She has previously suggested that a Norway-plus deal, with the United Kingdom in both a customs union and the single market, could be a "plausible" alternative.

The source insisted the statement was not sent late to Labour, adding: "It was a copy of the statement drafted well in advance of that briefing [on the confidence motion] from the Leader of the Opposition's office becoming public, and the statement that was sent to him reflected an already-drafted and already-agreed decision".

That idea was slapped down by Justice Secretary David Gauke, who said a so-called managed no-deal Brexit is not on offer from the EU.

The alternative, a "no-deal" Brexit, risks plunging the British economy into recession and touching off chaos at the borders.

Updating MPs following a bruising European Union summit in Brussels, Mrs May will say: "Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum".

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"Another vote. would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics", May said, adding that a second vote "would likely leave us no further forward".

Businesses should also be prepared, "enacting their own no-deal plans as they judge necessary".

"This is a constitutional crisis because this House is not being allowed to express its will on behalf of our communities, who around the country are telling us that they reject this deal - that is why MPs want to be able to vote against it".

There have also been reports that government officials are considering giving the public a vote.

It is understood that ministers at the weekly session of Cabinet at 10 Downing Street were presented with three options - to continue with the current policy of enacting no-deal plans when it became necessary on a case-by-case basis; to move to full implementation of the plans; or to scale back no-deal preparations.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the European Commission activated plans for a possible no-deal Brexit on March 29, making clear that they are created to "protect the vital interests of the EU".

He had previously said that despite seeing off the motion of no confidence by 200 votes to 117 she should resign "as soon as the Queen has a moment in her diary to see her".

If Mrs May refuses to allow the vote to go ahead, it would show that the government were anxious about losing it - clearly indicating that the Theresa May doesn't even have confidence in herself.

Labour reacted by suggesting the prime minister was "scared".

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