What does Jeremy Corbyn's vote of no confidence against Theresa May mean and how could it affect Brexit?

But what does this mean for the Prime Minister and how might it impact Brexit? Here's the lowdown…

What does Jeremy Corbyn's vote of no confidence against Theresa May mean?

Minutes before the PM stood up to make a statement on the disastrous EU summit she attended last week, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would bring a no-confidence vote in Mrs May before the Commons.

He threatened to call the vote if Mrs May refused to name a date for Parliament to debate her Brexit deal, only to change his mind after she did set a timetable.

But hours later Mr Corbyn announced that he was tabling his motion after all in farcical scenes – and Mrs May was seen hastily walking out just seconds after he gave his speech.

But in a bizarre twist, Mr Corbyn then dropped the idea less than an hour after floating it and didn't even mention it in his response to the PM.

He again changed his mind two hours later and announced he was tabling a motion reading: "This house has no confidence in the Prime Minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away on the withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU."

Labour want the motion to be debated and voted on this week in a bid to embarrass Mrs May by showing she has lost the support of Parliament.

But constitutional experts insisted the Government has the power to decide whether or not such a vote takes place – meaning it will probably be kicked into the long grass.

Labour's stunt today is designed to humiliate Theresa May and increase the pressure on her to resign.

But it falls short of a formal vote of no confidence in the Government overall which would trigger a General Election.Jeremy Corbyn has faced repeated demands from his own MPs and other parties to table a proper no-confidence motion.

That would be legally binding with a General Election taking place if the Government lost.

But a vote on Mrs May personally, as opposed to the Government, would be only symbolic.

Mr Corbyn is understood to believe he would lose any attempt at a full no-confidence vote, because the DUP and rebel Tories would stand behind the Government.

Instead he hopes to peel off enough Brexiteers who want to see the PM gone but don't want an election.

Some MPs insisted Mrs May would be under huge moral pressure to resign if she lost the confidence vote.

But others – including Labour's Owen Smith – claim the gesture is pointless because it would have no legal effect.

It's not even certain that the motion will ever be debated in Parliament because Commons bosses have no obligation to schedule time for it before Christmas.

How could it affect Brexit?

Corbyn's call for a no-confidence vote is not the same as a formal no confidence vote in the Government, which would automatically trigger a general election 14 days after being lost.

There is not a set date for Corbyn's vote yet, but Labour sources said they would "appeal" to the Government to hold it before Parliament breaks up for Christmas.

As the chaos in Westminster continues:

  • Eight ministers said she should put Brexit back in the hands of MPs, but others demanded No Deal preparations step up ASAP
  • Brussels ramped up proposals to handle a No Deal outcome in case talks collapse
  • A Cabinet ally of the PM, Geoffrey Cox, is said to have told colleagues Mrs May would be gone by April
  • Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt was reported to have been holding talks with key backbench plotters as part of a suspected leadership bid
  • Ex-PM Tony Blair relaunched an attack on the Government, saying a new referendum was the only way out of the deadlock


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