Confidence Vote (#1)
Jeremy Corbyn proposed a motion “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government” which was debated on Wednesday 16 January 2019.
Following the debate, of around 6 hours, the motion was put to a vote.
The result was 306 votes in favour of the motion with 325 votes against.
This is a win for the Government with those Conservative and DUP MPs who voted against Theresa May in a previous vote, on the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Political Declaration, returning to the fold.
Following the vote Theresa May made the following statement in the House of Commons:
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am pleased that the House has expressed its confidence in the Government tonight. I do not take this responsibility lightly, and my Government will continue their work to increase our prosperity, guarantee our security and strengthen our Union—and yes, we will also continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise that we made to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union.
I believe that this duty is shared by every Member of this House. We have a responsibility to identify a way forward that can secure the backing of the House, and to that end I have proposed a series of meetings between senior parliamentarians and representatives of the Government over the coming days. I should like to invite the leaders of parliamentary parties to meet me individually, and I should like to start those meetings tonight. The Government approach the meetings in a constructive spirit, and I urge others to do the same, but we must find solutions that are negotiable and command sufficient support in the House. As I have said, we will return to the House on Monday to table an amendable motion and to make a statement about the way forward.
The House has put its confidence in this Government. I stand ready to work with any Member of the House to deliver on Brexit, and to ensure that this House retains the confidence of the British people.
With a response form Jeremy Corbyn
Last night the House rejected the Government’s deal emphatically. A week ago, the House voted to condemn the idea of a no-deal Brexit. Before there can be any positive discussions about the way forward, the Government must remove, clearly and once and for all, the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU, and all the chaos that would come as a result of that. I invite the Prime Minister to confirm now that the Government will not countenance a no-deal Brexit from the European Union.
Theresa made an additional statement outside 10 Downing Street later that same evening
This evening the Government has won the confidence of Parliament. This now gives us all the opportunity to focus on finding a way forward on Brexit. I understand that to people getting on with their lives, away from Westminster, the events of the past 24 hours will have been unsettling. Overwhelmingly, the British people want us to get on with delivering Brexit, and also address the other important issues they care about. But the deal which I have worked to agree with the European Union was rejected by MPs, and by a large margin.
I believe it is my duty to deliver on the British people’s instruction to leave the European Union. And I intend to do so. So now MPs have made clear what they don’t want, we must all work constructively together to set out what Parliament does want.
That’s why I am inviting MPs from all parties to come together to find a way forward. One that both delivers on the referendum and can command the support of Parliament. This is now the time to put self-interest aside.
I have just held constructive meetings with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and the Westminster leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. From tomorrow, meetings will be taking place between senior Government representatives, including myself, and groups of MPs who represent the widest possible range of views from across Parliament – including our confidence and supply partners the Democratic Unionist Party.
I am disappointed that the leader of the Labour Party has not so far chosen to take part. But our door remains open.
It will not be an easy task, but MPs know they have a duty to act in the national interest, reach a consensus and get this done. In a historic vote in 2016 the country decided to leave the EU. In 2017 80% of people voted for Parties that stood on manifestos promising to respect that result. Now, over two and a half years later, it’s time for us to come together, put the national interest first – and deliver on the referendum.