Theresa May Survives, Weakened And With An Exit Date

The National

For an internal no-confidence vote to be formally triggered, at least 48 Conservative Party MPs needed to submit letters of no confidence in the prime minister to Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee-the parliamentary group of the Conservatives.

This would be bad enough if the Conservative Party had a majority, but it relies on the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which also opposes the deal because of the "backstop"-a legal device to prevent the need to erect a land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland". The main sticking point, as it has been nearly from the start of negotiations, is the post-Brexit relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the backstop proposal to cover against any future re-imposition of a hard border between the two. She can now not be challenged again as leader for 12 months. Before the no confidence vote Jeremy Corbyn was under pressure to call one of his own in the House of Commons, with SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems and centrist Labour MPs pushing for a vote. If May can not get her exit terms through Parliament, the United Kingdom will be on course for a no-deal Brexit, risking economic and political upheaval.

Remain-supporting Tory former minister Anna Soubry said she was "appalled and embarrassed" by events at Westminster. The UK will leave on March 29, 2019 as an automatic outcome of triggering Article 50 and there is simply no time to start unpicking the texts on the table. The Prime Minister should put her deal before Parliament next week in our country's interest.

European Union negotiations do often go to the wire, and last minute snags are always a possibility.

May is heading to Brussels today after emerging from a confidence vote by Tory MPs bloodied and bruised but victorious.

European leaders this week committed to helping Prime Minister May get the Brexit deal ratified in the United Kingdom parliament by offering assurances that the triggering of the backstop clause is not a preferred outcome.

If she survives Wednesday's vote, May could still face a further confidence motion in the House of Commons at a later date.

Ireland has effectively launched separate Brexit negotiations, going over Theresa May's head and appealing directly to MPs.

George Freeman told HuffPost UK's politics podcast, Commons People, that he believes there are two post-EU withdrawal scenarios which would see the Tories call a fresh vote. It would not be logical to risk destabilising the process, especially with so little time left before March 2019. "And what that means really is somebody who had virtually no negotiating credibility as it stands has now got even less".

The recent turn of events in the tortuous Brexit process have revealed a continuous belief in the United Kingdom of a right to exceptionalism.

That is probably because she has already agreed to it, and so has the EU27.

All of a sudden Mr Varadkar has a lot more room for manoeuvre on issues like, to pick one at random, the Irish Backstop. This is a non-starter as far as the European Union is concerned.

It could also require a small number of Labour MPs to support the arrangement to counter-act the hardline Brexiteers determined to thwart it any cost. But this is equally unlikely to happen.

Labour might feel like it's worth trying now that May is secure within her own party for the time being.

According to the BBC's Brussels Correspondent Adam Fleming, "EU leaders are considering a commitment to continue negotiating a trade deal with the United Kingdom even if the Irish backstop comes into force - to prove that they want it to be temporary". The Brexit nightmare before Christmas will continue into the New Year and beyond.

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