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Labour plan to 'throw kitchen sink' to force May into Brexit vote

Labour plan to 'throw kitchen sink' to force May into Brexit vote

The prime minister won the secret vote, which started at 1800 GMT and ended two hours later, with 200 out of 317 Tory MPs supporting her to stay on as the party leader.

Webb said: "If they were forced to go into an election now with her as a leader that puts her in an extremely hard position to campaign - which would be very hard for the Conservative Party".

Less than four months before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, the country's exit is in chaos.

"This Government is a farce, the Tory party is in chaos, the Prime Minister is a disgrace", Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford said during a pugnacious Prime Minister's Questions session in the House of Commons.

Afterwards, Brexiteer Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the result was "terrible" for the Prime Minister, and that she should nevertheless resign.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar, who held a lengthy one-to-one meeting with Mrs May ahead of the main summit, said she had to honour her commitments on the backstop, meant to ensure there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"I am getting strong sense Theresa May will fail to get from European Union leaders the "legal" bit of the assurances she needs to get her European Union plan approved by DUP and Brexiter Tories - ie no addendum or codicil to Withdrawal Agreement.

A Brexit that delivers on the vote of the people", she said, adding that she meant to carry on negotiating with the European Union (EU) over controversial aspects of her Brexit deal when she heads to Brussels for a pre-scheduled European Council meeting on Thursday.

Victory only came after the prime minister assured MPs on Wednesday evening that she would stand down before the next general election.

But other leaders arriving on Thursday emphasised that whatever assurances are given they can not contradict the deal that Mrs May agreed last month. "I will support her through current events, but I can not vote for a motion that I believe will irrevocably weaken the United Kingdom for years to come".

The Labour leader then asked: "Since the prime minister has not achieved any changes either to the withdrawal agreement or the future partnership, can she now confirm that we will have the concluding days of debate and votes within the next seven days, before the house rises for the Christmas recess?"

Reacting to the news, the opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the result "makes no difference to the lives of our people".

He also went on this morning's Today programme to argue that now is not the right time to prompt a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, with Brexit negotiations at such a crucial stage. Under the rules, she can not be challenged by a confidence vote again for 12 months.

The threat to Mrs May has been building as pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers grew increasingly frustrated with the Prime Minister's handling of Brexit.

"I've already met [Irish Premier] Leo Varadkar, I'm going to be addressing the European Council later and I'll be showing the legal and political assurances that I believe we need to assuage the concerns that MPs have on this issue".

The EU's free trade agreement with Canada, for example, was held up by a vote in a regional Belgian parliament. "If May can not get her deal through the Commons, the crisis will intensify". She will now return to fighting for the Brexit withdrawal deal that has divided United Kingdom politics in recent weeks.

The EU's top court ruled on Monday that Britain could cancel its Article 50 notice to leave without permission from other members and without losing privileges. 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.

May's victory in the confidence vote means that another challenge can not be mounted against her position as Tory leader for a year.

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