Bookmakers predict Theresa May will survive no confidence vote

Bookmakers predict Theresa May will survive no confidence vote

Bookmakers predict Theresa May will survive no confidence vote

It comes days after May postponed a vote to approve the divorce deal to avoid all-but-certain defeat in the House.

Supporters of Brexit say May's deal fails to deliver on the clean break with the bloc that they want.

Owen Paterson became the first former cabinet minister to submit a letter of no confidence on Tuesday, adding to speculation that the threshold might be breached.

Pro-Brexit legislators Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker said in a joint statement that "in the national interest, she must go".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I am backing Theresa May tonight".

But in a last-minute pitch to her MPs before the vote she promised to stand down as leader before the next scheduled election in 2022.

The European Parliament's Brexit point man, Guy Verhofstadt, noted that with the canceled vote in London "we have spiraled again into a new mess", and he supported Juncker's message.

But Mr Juncker has said the European Union would not renegotiate the deal on Brexit, and stating there was "no room whatsoever for renegotiation".

From the standpoint of domestic United Kingdom politics, the agreement satisfies few.

Chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady confirmed Wednesday morning that a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May by party members would be held tonight, with results coming in at 9pm.

Brady said the vote would be held in Parliament between 6pm and 8pm Wednesday (7am and 9am Thursday NZT), with the results announced soon after.

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She could then be forced to resign as Prime Minister.

Mrs May has said she is seeking guarantees that this clause will be "temporary" but the Democratic Unionist Party, which she relies on to win key votes, wants the backstop to be ditched altogether. The final two contenders would then be put to the nationwide party membership in a postal ballot.

If May secures the backing of at least 159 MPs, she can not be challenged again for 12 months, under Conservative Party rules.

She will remain as Prime Minister until a new leader is appointed, which could take up to six weeks and draw close to January 21; the day when her Brexit deal must return to Parliament.

The centrist Liberal Democrats said the leadership challenge "at this late stage shows what an absolute shambles the Conservatives have made of Brexit".

A total of 315 ballots will be cast. But allies said May would stay in post even if she secured a wafer-thin win.

She added: "We must and we shall deliver on the referendum vote and seize the opportunities that lie ahead".

One cabinet minister emerged to say support for May in the committee room was "rock solid", though when asked what margin she needed to win by on Wednesday evening, he said: "One".

The Prime Minister said having a leadership election would "not change the fundamentals of the negotiation or the parliamentary arithmetic" and that "tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be standing together to serve our country".

"We are now actively, not only preparing for that, but taking actions to ensure that if necessary we will be ready on March 29 for Britain to leave the European Union without a deal", Mr Coveney told Irish national broadcaster RTE, adding that he still thought a no-deal Brexit was unlikely.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt also said, "The Prime Minister has my full support, not least because she has always done what she firmly believes is in the national interest".

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