Published: Wed, December 12, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

British PM Theresa May survives vote of confidence

British PM Theresa May survives vote of confidence

The Conservative lawmakers will cast their votes in the confidence ballot from 1800 GMT in Committee Room 14 at the House of Commons.

Tory MPs rejected a no-confidence motion in the embattled prime minister's leadership by 200 votes to 117, as the contest underscored the bitter split in the party over Brexit.

The results of the vote will be announced at 9 p.m.

May took over as leader of the ruling Conservatives - and the country - in July 2016 when David Cameron stepped down in the wake of the Brexit referendum.

The vote will take place between 6pm and 8pm local time Wednesday and the result will be announced later in the evening.

In a bid to win over wavering lawmakers, May indicated she would step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Seeking to consolidate her position, May called an election in June 2017.

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Speaking outside her Downing Street residence hours before the vote of confidence to decide her fate, May said she would fight with everything she had. "The clock, for the moment, must be stopped", Major, who also faced a revolt inside the Conservative Party over Europe, said in a speech in Dublin.

Brexit is Britain's most significant political and economic decision since World War II.

May said a leadership change would only benefit Labour party chiefs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. It came just days after May postponed a vote to approve the divorce deal to avoid all-but-certain defeat.

However, some lawmakers who have backed May publicly have said in private that they will vote against her, according to British political commentators.

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson accused May of acting like a "supplicant" in dealings with the EU. Then it would fall to her successor to try to sort out Britain's Brexit mess.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said politicians should understand the impact of their "high stakes gambles" with Britain's economy. That's the 15 per cent of Conservative legislators needed to spark a leadership challenge under party rules.

May will face a vote in her leadership, a Conservative Party official says.

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If May survives a vote of no-confidence by Conservative colleagues, she can't be challenged again for a year. Allies insisted she would stay in post even if she won by a single vote.

May spoke at the weekend to Tusk, Merkel and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, raising speculation they offered some hope of further concessions.

It comes after she dramatically pulled the plug on a key Brexit vote on Tuesday. But our party will rightly not tolerate it. But the odds in favour of her political survival are narrowing, and even if she continues as Britain's prime minister after tonight's vote, it is doubtful whether she has the capacity to push through a deal over Brexit, as the process of Britain's separation from the European Union is now popularly known.

However, since the election of a new leader may involve the participation of the broader party membership, the earliest a new prime minister could emerge is mid-January, barely a few months before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, whether it has a negotiated deal or not.

"We now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country", she said.

Since the resignation of former Brexit Secretary David Davis in the summer, May has come under increasing attack from cabinet colleagues, several of whom resigned in protest at her handling of negotiations with Europe, and a growing number of influential Conservative parliamentary members (MPs), who want to sever ties with the European Union without remaining in several key European Union arrangements.

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