Accessibility links

Breaking News

Britain's May Survives No-Confidence Vote


Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street after a confidence vote by Conservative Party Members of Parliament (MPs), in London, Britain, Dec. 12, 2018.

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote to retain her job and prevent another leadership challenge for a year.

Conservatives in the House of Commons voted 200 to 117 Thursday.

In a closed meeting with Conservative lawmakers before the vote began, May said she would step down as Britain's leader before the anticipated 2022 election, a move that might have helped win over some lawmakers who were undecided going into the secret ballot. May's announcement not to seek re-election was confirmed by Cabinet Minister Amber Rudd and Conservative lawmakers Alec Shelbrooke and Robert Buckland.

Ian Lavery, chair of the main opposition Labor Party, said in a statement that "May's weakness and failure has completely immobilized the government at this critical time for the country."

Anti-Brexit protesters wave flags outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Dec. 12, 2018.
Anti-Brexit protesters wave flags outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Dec. 12, 2018.

It remains unclear if the vote will help her win badly needed support of the Brexit deal she has been negotiating.

Britain is due to exit the EU on March 29, 2019, as a result of the 2016 referendum. The two sides worked out an agreement on the divorce terms after lengthy negotiations, but it must be approved by Britain's parliament. Earlier this week, May canceled a planned vote, during which it seemed certain to fail.

May has subsequently been trying to save the agreement through talks with European leaders. But EU officials have been firm about their lack of desire to renegotiate the terms.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said after what he called a "long and frank discussion" with May on Tuesday that it is clear the other EU members want to help resolve the situation, but that "the question is, how?"

Tusk has called a meeting of EU leaders to discuss Brexit on Thursday, including the possibility that March 29 will come with no agreement in place.