British PM Theresa May survives vote of confidence

Germany opposes Brexit deal renegotiation

Former prime minister John Major, who also faced a Conservative revolt over Europe, said Britain must revoke its divorce notice immediately.

Mr Vaizey said: "Well I just think it's total self-indulgence - you know we're a few months away from leaving the European Union, we've still got to try and sort out the terms on which we're leaving and now the Tory Party is going to indulge in this massive bout of introspection, potentially leading to instability if she doesn't win the no confidence vote tonight".

But instead, she gave a defiant speech outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday morning, saying she would contest the vote "with everything I've got".

A day after abruptly pulling the vote, Mrs May rushed to The Hague for breakfast with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, then to Berlin to meet Chancellor Merkel, followed by a trip to Brussels.

Tory rebels successful managed to stage a no-confidence vote in Mrs May, which could see her ousted tonight by 9pm.

The prime minister made the announcement as she tried to convince her peers to keep her on as a leader to "finish Brexit" - ahead of the vote of no confidence that opened at 6pm.

The vote was triggered on Wednesday morning and the result is expected to be released at 2200 CET.

This means she will continue as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, and another no confidence vote can not be held for the next twelve months.

Mr Paterson said he had "not found it at all easy" writing and submitting his letter, but said: "I just I'm afraid think she's no longer the right person to lead us through this hard period".

In particular she will attempt to gain clarification over the Irish Backstop - the issue that most infuriates hard Brexiteers, who claim the plan could see the United Kingdom trapped in a permanent customs union with the EU.

The final two candidates are put to a vote of the full party membership across the country.

If a so-called "meaningful vote" fails to pass the Brexit deal through the House of Commons, pressure would ramp up on May to call a general election and resign.

Following this ballot, we now have to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country.

If she does not win the vote there would then be a Conservative leadership contest in which she could not stand.

The PM thought she had seen off an attempt by this group of Brexiteers to get rid of her last month.

Mrs May said securing a Brexit deal which will deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum is "now within our grasp", and added she is "making progress" in securing reassurances from European Union leaders on MPs' concerns about the proposed backstop for the Irish border.

A challenge was triggered after 15 per cent of the Conservative members of parliament (MPs) wrote letters demanding a confidence vote to the chairman of the party's "1922 Committee", which represents those lawmakers who have no government jobs. May's authority has been badly eroded along and it's doubtful she'll be able to secure a new Brexit deal that would win enough support in Parliament.

"I will contest that vote with everything I have got", Mrs May added.

All Conservative MPs can vote.

Two former Brexit secretaries, David Davis and Dominic Raab, presented what they called "a better deal", at a press conference in Westminster on Wednesday.

As news of the contest broke, ministers, including Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove rallied round the Prime Minister.



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