UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a vote of no confidence instigated by her own party, securing the votes of 200 MPs against the 117 who wanted her turfed out of the Tory leadership.
That said, it’s not like May is totally in the clear these days. As Australians should know by now, leadership challenges don’t necessarily translate to positive outcomes for those leading parties.
Speaking after the vote, which was implemented by conservative MPs who are red and mad about the Brexit deal she signed with the European Union late last month, May said her attention would now return to navigating Britain through the process before the agreement’s March 29 deadline.
The PM said she recognises the concerns of hardline Brexiteers who want a clearer and more rapid delineation between the UK and Europe than the one laid out in her agreement.
“Whilst I’m grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me and I have listened to their concerns,” May said.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May says she will “get on with the job of delivering #Brexit” after surviving a #ConfidenceVote by members of her Conservative partyhttps://t.co/9Vw2gOQoDc pic.twitter.com/Ke6cTamPsc
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 12, 2018
What comes next is still anyone’s guess.
While May has agreed to a deal with the EU, it’s yet to pass through UK parliament. Before she can secure the thumbs up from opposition MPs, she still has to win over the 117 folks who voted against her today.
And then, when the deal does finally reach a vote in the House of Commons, there’s a chance Labour could just up and call another vote of confidence concerning all MPs, not just Tories. That would lead to a general election, AKA more chaos.
Then there’s the outside chance of a second referendum on the issue, which could see the British public vote Remain the second time around.
More apocalyptic is the so-called ‘no deal’ scenario, which would see UK and the EU sail past March 29 with no new trade agreements in place, utterly cooking any chance at mutual understanding between Britain and its vital trading partners.
It’s a big mess, but it’s a mess May is in charge of. For now.