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May's Brexit defeat triggers new confidence vote

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:18s - Published < > Embed
May's Brexit defeat triggers new confidence vote

May's Brexit defeat triggers new confidence vote

British lawmakers defeated Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin on Tuesday, triggering a new confidence vote and yet more political upheaval that could lead to a disorderly divorce or even a reversal of the 2016 decision to leave.

Matthew Larotonda reports.


May's Brexit defeat triggers new confidence vote

**EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THE AUDIO ON THIS EDIT IS MIXDOWN** It was widely expected that the draft divorce settlement between the UK government and European Union over Brexit would be rejected by the British parliament, and that's what happened - on a grand scale.

Characteristically Theresa May met it with a bold move: inviting her opposition to call a no-confidence vote on her own government.

In other words, she's dared them to try and get her fired.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY SAYING: "The government has heard -- has heard -- what the House (of Commons) has said tonight.

But I ask members on all sides of the House to listen to the British people who want this issue settled, and to work with the government to do just that." And the Labour Party accepted the challenge.

The vote will be on Wednesday (January 16).

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER, SAYING: "The results for this government is the greatest defeat since the 1920s in this house." The deal the prime minister has been pushing for months lost with 202 votes versus 432 -- rejected by both hardliners and pro-EU lawmakers.

It means the political and economic turmoil for Britain isn't going away.

A crisis that May has repeatedly warned could eventually threaten the UK itself -- emboldening secessionist movements in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

This was the scene outside as the main debate and vote got underway.

If she survives the confidence vote May will have until Monday to tell lawmakers what she plans to do next.

So, what could that be?

She might decide to go back to Brussels and try to get more concessions for yet another Brexit vote in the future.

What May says she doesn't want is another election, which would bring more months of uncertainty.

She also doesn't want another referendum: basically, another chance for British voters to say, this hassle isn't worth it.

Polls suggest a majority of Britons would now vote against Brexit - unlike the original vote in 2016.

If the polls are wrong - it could bring the government right back to where it is now.

But then, this is saga that has already had a lot of twists.

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