Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, July 19, 2018

With a little help from your opposition

PM May's plans for Brexit survived on a vote in Commons because several Labour MPs voted for her bill. The future looks rocky.

Britain’s May narrowly avoids defeat in parliament on EU trade laws
British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided a defeat in parliament at the hands of pro-EU lawmakers from her own party on Tuesday, fending off a rebellion that had threatened to deepen a crisis over her Brexit strategy.

Parliament voted 307 to 301 against an amendment to trade legislation [that]… was seen as a test of May’s ability to deliver a smooth British exit from the European Union and keep her job…

One Conservative lawmaker present told Reuters that the party whips whose job it is to enforce discipline, desperate to win the vote, had threatened to call a confidence vote in May if she lost, a move that could bring down the government…

May is expected to face many more challenges to her strategy after a summer break as she works her way through a mountain of Brexit-related legislation. Any final deal with the EU will also require ratification by a bitterly split parliament.

Highlighting the fine margins May is dealing with, Tuesday’s victory required the votes of four pro-Brexit Labour opposition lawmakers who backed the government in defiance of their party’s instructions…

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