In his statement following Tuesday’s historic defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit plan, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May, following through on a longstanding threat following weeks of speculation about whether Labour would actually make good.
And on Wednesday at 7 pm GMT ( 2 pm in New York), MPs are expected to vote on the motion, which is widely expected to fail, given that both the DUP – the small northern Irish party that helps shore up May’s government – and several Labour MPs have decided to back to back May. And few, if any, Tories (even the hard-core Brexiteers) are expected to break ranks and cross the floor).
MPs have been debating the motion for hours. Watch the vote live below:
Brexit related headlines have been hitting the tape all day as traders and political observers speculate about what direction the Brexit process will take going forward. Conflicting reports about the EU’s willingness to offer concession on the Irish backstop – seen as essential for anything remotely resembling May’s deal to win support in the Commons – were seemingly put to rest when Irish PM Leo Varadkar said Ireland would oppose any modifications to the deal as it stands.
Last month, May survived a no confidence vote from within the conservative party as hard-core Brexiteers tried and failed to unseat her as party leader.
Still, no clear alternative to May’s deal has taken shape, which is ne reason why the Brexit Committee suggested holding a series of “indicative votes”, which would allow MPs to express support for any measures that would earn their vote, on different options. But even this wouldn’t necessarily lend more clarity to the process, since it wouldn’t guarantee that a consensus would emerge. Talk of Brexit being canceled entirely has also been intensifying ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
Should May be defeated – she only has a thin majority of only 13 votes assuming every Tory and every DUP member votes against the motion – it would usher in the third general election in four years (unless she succeeds in winning back the confidence of her MPs within 2 weeks).