UK's May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

UK's May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

UK's May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

Britain's parliament will debate and vote upon the government's next steps whether or not Prime Minister Theresa May has a Brexit deal for them to approve, junior Brexit minister Robin Walker said on Tuesday.

She added: "I never said it was going to be easy".

But leading Brexit rebel Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of at least 48 Tory MPs who triggered the vote by writing a letter of no confidence in May, said it was a "terrible result". That brings back control of our money, our borders, and our laws.

A bitter division over Europe in the Conservatives helped bring about the downfall of all three previous Conservative premiers - David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

As British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a confidence vote on Wednesday it was no secret that a phalanx of rivals had lined-up bids of the top job.

May, who spent Tuesday touring European Union capitals to appeal for changes to sweeten her divorce deal for reluctant United Kingdom lawmakers, has until January 21 to hold a vote on the agreement in Parliament.

Her week from hell began Monday, when she scrapped a planned vote in Parliament on her Brexit divorce deal at the last minute to avoid a heavy defeat.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has indicated his party would trigger such a vote when it was likely to pass.

"Tonight's vote makes no difference to the lives of our people", Mr Corbyn said in a statement.

She had promised MPs she would seek "assurances" about their concerns over a so-called "backstop" plan to keep open the border with Ireland.

But leaders also warned that the European Union was prepared for Britain to leave without a deal rather than risk unraveling its own system of close integration: "We have postponed the showdown moment".

Pro-Brexit demonstrators wear tape accross their mouths and hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

Following a delayed Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Mrs May will travel to Dublin for last-minute talks with the Taoiseach ahead of Thursday's crunch European Council summit in Brussels.

Anti-Brexit campaigners wave the Union Jack and European Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday
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"But this is what drives me to carry on doing this and making sure we deliver, is that this is what is right for the British people".

Anti-Brexit protesters wave flags outside the Houses of Parliament.

May told reporters after Friday's meeting that further clarification from the European Union was still possible. She deferred a vote on the deal in the House of Commons this week because it was certain to be rejected.

Many supporters of Brexit say May's deal, a compromise that retains close economic ties with the European Union, fails to deliver on the clean break with the bloc that they want.

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson accused May of acting like a "supplicant" in dealings with the EU.

May has said she intends to bring the proposed agreement to Parliament for a vote by January 21.

Opposition politicians expressed astonishment and outrage at the Conservative civil war erupting in the middle of the fraught Brexit process.

The Iron Lady became the only prime minister to be removed from office by a party leadership ballot among her own MPs.

"With news that the prime minister remains in place, business communities will hope that these political games can finally be put to bed", said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

May survived the confidence vote of her own party's lawmakers late on Wednesday, but she admitted as she arrived at the European Union summit that she will not fight the next general election planned for 2022.

The victory ensures that no further leadership challenge can be mounted for 12 months under party rules, and Mrs May will be the UK's leader as it navigates its way through to Brexit, which is due in March 2019. She won, but her power was eroded because a third of her party's membership revolted against her.

Among EU leaders there is sympathy for May's predicament - but also exasperation at Britain's political mess.

Brexit is Britain's most significant political and economic decision since World War Two, though pro-Europeans fear it will weaken the West as it grapples with the presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

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