In last night’s vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, it was rejected by the House of Commons, with 432 MPs voting against it, with only 202 in favour of it.
In turn, this not only makes this vote the biggest rejection of a sitting government in Parliamentary history by its margin of 230 votes, but also has now earned its place among other historic losses of this kind. It has beaten the record held for this, of which was previously held by Ramsey MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister, of who lost a vote about issues involving the Communist Newspaper by a margin of 166. That brought down his government.
Meanwhile, with 118 Tory MPs voting against the Withdrawal Agreement, has also marked the biggest internal rebellion of a Conservative government since 1997, whereby 95 MPs defied then Prime Minister John Major’s new gun control legislation in response to the then Dunblane shooting.
However this defeat is still not the biggest rebellion of a sitting government in modern times, with 139 Labour MPs voting against then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Iraq war back in 2003.
In response, current Labour Party and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has motioned a vote of no confidence against May, of which is to be scheduled this evening. Despite strong opposition from the Labour Party, three MPs backed May’s deal. May had been previously been subject to such a vote by her own party, but had won that vote.
It now seems that the ball is very much in May’s court. While she said that she isn’t resigning, it puts both her deal and her leadership into doubt. Some, like Corbyn have called for a motion of no confidence in her. The various EU bureaucrats (like EU Council President Donald Tusk and EU Commission leader Jean-Claude Juncker) have expressed regret in the decision, feeling that not many have come up with an alternative to the current situation. Other MPs, like Labour MP Chuka Umunna and Scottish National Party First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have called for a second referendum on EU membership. Others, like Conservative MP and former London Mayor Boris Johnson have called for May to use the remaining time left to go back to create a new deal. Meanwhile, there are those (most notably former UKIP leader and now independent MEP Nigel Farage), who have called on her to resign altogether:
A catastrophic failure of leadership by @Theresa_May. If she has any sense of honour then she will resign.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 15, 2019
We shall have to wait and see.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)