Is The Threat From Theresa May’s Brexit Hardliners Over?
13 December 2018, 14:58
Last night Theresa May survived a confidence vote after facing down her most vocal critics - but what does that mean for Brexit?
The 48 letters of no confidence needed to trigger the leadership challenge were reached this week.
200 Tory MPs supported the Prime Minister in the secret ballot, while 117 voted against her.
It’s all over Mrs May’s flagship Brexit withdrawal deal, which she unveiled last month.
Some of the most vocal critics have been from the Conservative Eurosceptic group the ERG.
They have been largely unhappy with the Irish backstop proposal.
Now, under party rules, disgruntled Tories can’t trigger a new leadership contest for another 12 months.
So - does that mean the threat from her Brexit hardliners is over?
“Theresa May would be extremely happy if this was the last big vote she had to face on Brexit,” Joe Owen from the Institute for Government told LBC.
“Now she has to get a majority in Parliament around her meaningful vote.
“There are 117 MPs in her own party that have said that they don’t have confidence in her - how many of those can she convert to vote for her deal?
“The DUP has said they are deeply unhappy with the deal so she is likely to have to start looking elsewhere in parliament to secure votes.”
Meanwhile, the ERG’s chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg has told LBC he still wants Mrs May to resign as Prime Minister.
Speaking shortly after her victory on Wednesday, he said he would not back her Brexit deal unless the backstop was ditched completely.
“In all constitutional normality she ought to stand down because she cannot get her business through parliament," he said.
“A Prime Minister is a person who can get business through parliament.”