British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday night survived a no-confidence vote, averting a general election, a day after her government suffered a historic parliamentary defeat over her Brexit divorce deal with the European Union. She won the confidence vote by a majority of 19 cotes. May received 325 votes in her favour, while 306 MPs voted against her government.
Soon after winning the no confidence vote, May invited leaders of different political parties to meet her to discuss the way forward on the ongoing Brexit saga. She said, “We must find solutions that are negotiable and command sufficient support in this House.” She also reiterated a promise to return to the Commons on Monday to give MPs another vote on her plans.
Among those who met May were the leaders of the SNP, Lib Dem and Plaid Cymru not Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. A dejected prime minister later said, “I am disappointed that the leader of the Labour Party has not so far chosen to take part, but our door remains open.”
Corbyn, for his part, said that before he held any ‘positive discussions’ with May, the prime minister should rule out a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking outside Number 10, Mrs May said, “I understand that to people getting on with their lives away from Westminster, the events of the past 24 hours will have been unsettling. Overwhelmingly the British people want us to get on with delivering Brexit and also address the other important issues they care about.
“I believe it is my duty to deliver on the British people’s instruction to leave the European Union and I intend to do so.”
British MPs had rejected May’s plans for Brexit on Tuesday night by a historic margin of 230 votes. 62-year-old May has spent two years negotiating the divorce plan aimed at bringing about an orderly Brexit and setting up a 21- month transition period to negotiate a free-trade deal with Brussels.
Her deal included both the withdrawal agreement on the terms on which the UK leaves the EU and a political declaration for the future relationship.