UK Prime Minister survives yet another vote of confidence

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a second vote of confidence in less than two months, with 325 votes cast in her favour, and 306 cast against – a win by 19 votes.

Today’s (Wednesday, January 16) vote was called after May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement was heavily defeated yesterday evening.

In response to that, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in May’s leadership.

Despite not supporting her deal with the European Union, May’s rebellious party colleagues rallied around her so as to avoid the possibility of a Labour government; likewise, her coalition partners, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who also refused to back the agreement, supported her in this confidence vote.

May found herself in a similar position in December 2018, when after cancelling the initial vote on the withdrawal agreement, she faced a confidence vote from within her own party – which she ultimately won.

Responding to the rejection of the withdrawal agreement, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said there is “regret and considerable disappointment at what has happened”.

“It is critically important now that we remain solid in our commitment to the withdrawal agreement, and we await what the British government will do next,” said the minister, speaking on RTE’s Prime Time.

Despite May’s survival, it does not stave off the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which would see tariffs placed on agri-food products exported from here to the UK.

May had said, after the agreement was rejected last night, that she would hold talks with other parties in the UK to determine a way forward.