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Is The Threat From Theresa May’s Brexit Hardliners Over?

14 December 2018

May responded to a no-confidence vote with a passion she reserves for when her back is against the wall, defending her Brexit deal and warning that ousting her could derail the whole process.

"So one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying or even stopping Brexit when people want us to get on with it", she said.

For now, the DUP says it will back her as long as she renegotiates the backstop - even if European Union leaders have warned this will not happen. 'Following this ballot we need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country'.

She said this must involve "politicians of all sides coming together and acting in the national interest".

The scale of the rebellion against May was significantly larger than most predictions, suggesting that she still has a mountain to climb to win over her party in order to pass her Brexit plans through parliament.

The British prime minister survived a confidence vote in her leadership, but a full third of her own party cast ballots against her, a big blow that means she will have an nearly impossible job getting her current Brexit deal approved by Parliament.

The vote also weakens the PM even further in the House of Commons, which is still smarting from her last-minute decision to push back the Brexit vote until January.

The traditionally right-wing paper said five ministers were now urging May to let parliament "hold a series of "indicative" votes on every conceivable option" of Brexit.

Asked whether he was willing to risk a no deal Brexit by refusing to bend over the backstop, he pointed out it was "within the gift of the United Kingdom to take no deal off the table".

And while she won the vote, the numbers against her - 117 out of a total of 317 MPs - will be deeply uncomfortable.

Solicitor-General Robert Buckland said May told lawmakers at a meeting that "it is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election".

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Another Tory legislator, Nick Boles, tweeted: "She was unambiguous".

May has not said what she will do if, as many expect, there is an early election triggered by Britain's Brexit crisis.

She has seen off a threat tonight but it is only one battle in the Brexit war.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: "I will be supporting Theresa May to continue as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister in today's vote".

Corbyn said: "It is totally and utterly unacceptable to this house, in any way".

"The result of the vote is that the parliamentary party does have the confidence in Theresa May", Graham Brady announced the result.

That's the 15 percent of Conservative legislators needed to spark a leadership challenge under party rules.

There had been chatter of something like 231-86, which would have been a number that might have strengthened her hand.

"As the European Union, we are very keen to offer explanations, assurances, clarifications, anything that may assist MPs to understand the agreement and hopefully to support it but the backstop is not on the table", he said. A majority of the MPs had publicly said they would be voting for the PM but as it was a secret ballot, there was uncertainty over the result. In addition, the right to vote has been restored to Charlie Elphicke and Andrew Griffith, two MPs previously suspended over accusations of sexual harassment.

Earlier on Tuesday, former Brexit Secretaries Dominic Raab and David Davis teamed up with Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, to promote their own alternative Brexit plan that "removes the poison pills that have prevented the draft Withdrawal Agreement from finding cross-party support".

May met EU President Donald Tusk in Brussels for what he called "last-minute talks" before joining the other European leaders.

Is The Threat From Theresa May’s Brexit Hardliners Over?