Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers largest defeat in Commons history 3 years ago

Theresa May's Brexit deal suffers largest defeat in Commons history

And still probably won't resign

Theresa May suffered a historic defeat in the parliament on Tuesday night after the House of Commons voted down her draft withdrawal agreement by 202 to 432.


Following the vote, Jeremy Corbyn said he was tabling a no-confidence motion in the government, which Theresa May agreed would be debated on Wednesday.

The Labour leader said: "The result of tonight’s vote is the greatest defeat for a government since the 1920s in this House. This is a catastrophic defeat for this government.

"After two years of failed negotiations, the House of Commons has delivered its verdict on her Brexit deal and that verdict is absolutely decisive."


Theresa May's government has endured an unusually high number of defeats - speaking to the febrile nature of current British politics. Last week saw her 11th and 12th defeats.

What makes Tuesday's most striking, however, is the concerted effort that has gone into avoiding it. Losses on such key pieces of legislation, with the government putting its full weight into building support, typically only clock in at the 20s and 30s.


The prime minister's strategy of delaying the meaningful vote on her deal with the EU paid little dividend. Thanks to amendments added to her bill, an alternative must now be presented to parliament within three days.

It has taken more than two years for Mrs May to negotiate the current settlement. How any alternative could be secured before the Article 50 deadline, on which the UK exits the EU, of March 29 is not clear.

The Labour party has now said it will instigate a no confidence vote in the prime minister.


Labour's shadow chancellor and de-facto deputy, John McDonnell, told JOE: "Jeremy has to make a decision about how we move forward.

"Our view is we should have a general election. We need to have a proper debate about what sort of future do we want in our relationship with Europe.

"Plus, you choose the team, you choose the team that will take us forward.

"If we can't secure that in parliament, Jeremy will make the call not if we have a no confidence vote in the government, but when."