Theresa May wins confidence vote over Brexit deal

Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 11:02 IST | Agencies | London

In the secret vote held Wednesday night, May secured 63 per cent votes with 200 in favour of her and 117 against, out of a total of 317 of her Conservative Party MPs

May said she was "ready to finish the job" by taking Britain out of the European Union next March. Pic/AFP
May said she was "ready to finish the job" by taking Britain out of the European Union next March. Pic/AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial vote of confidence in her leadership of the ruling Conservative Party over the controversial Brexit deal, after she placated rebel lawmakers by agreeing that she will not lead the party into the next general election in 2022.

Though she won the backing of her party to stay on as prime minister, more than a third of Conservative MPs voted against her, underscoring the uphill battle she faces in getting her Brexit deal through Parliament.

In the secret vote held Wednesday night, May secured 63 per cent votes with 200 in favour of her and 117 against, out of a total of 317 of her Conservative Party MPs. May, who has been prime minister since the UK voted to leave the 28-member European Union in June, 2016, is now immune from a leadership challenge for at least a year. The vote of confidence was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result.

"Whilst I am grateful for the support, a significant number of my colleagues did cast a vote against me and I have listened to what they have said," May said. "We now need to get on with the job of delivering the Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country. A Brexit that delivers on the vote of the people," she added.

May made it clear that she intended to carry on negotiating with the European Union (EU) over controversial aspects of her Brexit deal when she heads to Brussels for a European Council meeting on Thursday.

Had the 62-year-old leader lost this vote, the party would have had to elect a new leader who would then go on to become the next British prime minister until end of term. May would not have been able to stand for such a leadership contest but would have to remain in Downing Street as caretaker premier while the process to select a new leader was conducted.

UK lawmakers due to vote on Brexit bill in January
British lawmakers will vote on May's Brexit deal in January, according to a schedule published by the leader of the lower house of parliament Andrea Leadsom. May has promised to hold the vote by January 21.

Won't fight next elections: May
The British Prime Minister told her MPs that she expects to step down before the next scheduled election in 2022, as she fought the attempt to unseat her over her handling of Brexit. "It is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election," Solicitor General Robert Buckland said. "Quite rightly she is focusing on Brexit to be delivered," he said.

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