Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper
May's defeat and fate of Brexit deal
What's interesting is that, the result was widely expected though it was devastating for Mrs May. Her fragile leadership is now under siege as her two-year strategy of forging an amicable divorce with the EU collapses. Immediately after the vote, Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government, calling the defeat "catastrophic". He said: "After two years of failed negotiations the House of Commons has delivered its verdict on her Brexit deal and that verdict is absolutely decisive".
What would happen in Britain? There are several possible outcomes now. One possibility is that, Mrs May could resign as leader of the Conservative Party, triggering an internal contest to replace her without a general election. But it would not be so easy. She had defeated an attempt to oust her as leader of the Conservative Party in December last winning a confidence vote, which means her position as party leader is assured, as she cannot be challenged until the end of 2019. Another possibility is that, if a majority of MPs vote against her government, the opposition Labour Party would have 14 days to gain votes that it could command a majority to form its own government. If Mrs May's government loses a confidence vote and Labour is unable to form a new government, then Mrs May could also call a general election herself if two-thirds of MPs agree to it.
However, these are only possibilities. Nothing is certain in politics, especially in British politics.