Sun, 12 Jul 2020

U.K. PM May faces leadership challenge amid Brexit crisis

By Sheetal Sukhija, Beijing News.Net
13 Dec 2018, 02:35 GMT+10

LONDON, U.K. - Conservative lawmakers in the U.K. triggered a leadership challenge against the country's Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday even as Britain is facing a long-drawn out Brexit crisis.

With less that four months to go until the U.K. is due to leave the European Union and the country facing chaos over the possibility of a disorderly no-deal departure, May had to face a vote of confidence on her leadership.

She survived the vote overwhelmingly, winning by 200 votes to 117.

Members of Parliament cheered after the vote was announced by Graham Brady, an MP who leads the 1922 Committee which represents Conservative Party backbenchers in the House of Commons.

May later told a press briefing outside No. 10 Downing Street that for her it had been a "long and challenging day."

Hours before the vote, May spoke to reporters outside Downing Street and said that she would battle for her job "with everything she had."

The embattled Prime Minister warned that the country should avoid a change of government since it would "risk delaying or even stopping Brexit, which would be against the national interest."

May told the Parliament on Wednesday, "We shouldn't risk handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in parliament because that would mean to risk delaying Brexit or even stopping Brexit - none of that would be in the national interest. We need to ensure that we do not increase uncertainty."

She argued, "A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now would put our country's future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it. Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be standing together to serve our country."

The Prime Minister said, "A new leader would not have time to renegotiate a deal with the EU and secure parliamentary approval by the end of March, meaning the Article 50 withdrawal notice would have to be extended or rescinded."

On Wednesday, reports revealed that a secret ballot was scheduled to be held between 1800 and 2000 GMT in a room at the House of Commons.

However, it was expectyedx May would likely to address lawmakers at a closed meeting before the vote.

In case a simple majority of Conservative lawmakers had voted against her, May could easily have been toppled.

Even, a significant rebellion could have undermined her position.

May has been battling accusations of betraying the people's vote during negotiations by lawmakers that support Brexit in her party.

At the same time, her opponents have said that she struck a deal that is the worst of all worlds. It was members of her own party that triggered Wednesday's confidence vote.

May's convincing win should see her continue through to a Brexit resolution, one way or the other, and likely to the next election at least.



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