Published: Thu, December 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Labour Brexit minister says no confidence vote coming 'before Christmas'

Labour Brexit minister says no confidence vote coming 'before Christmas'

The first minister's demand for a vote of no confidence in Mrs May was echoed by Ian Murray, the Scottish Labour MP, and came as a big split emerged in the leadership of the Scottish Conservatives.

Labour has a tight window of opportunity to trigger a no-confidence motion in the government, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer warned Jeremy Corbyn.

In further exchanges, Corbyn condemned what he said was the "ongoing chaos at the centre of this government", while an increasingly combative May won cheers from her largely subdued MPs by accusing Labour of wanting to frustrate Brexit, saying its approach was: "No plan, no clue, no Brexit".

Asked how much time Labour had to clarify its position, Mr Blackford said: "I think Jeremy has until the close of business today".

The former foreign secretary also urged the government to begin preparations for a referendum by drafting legislation for one.

Corbyn said: "It is totally and utterly unacceptable to this house, in any way".

And she called on European Union leaders to begin discussions at their summit on Thursday to extend Article 50 - the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the European Union on 29 March - to give the UK Parliament the "time and space" to explore the option of deciding to stay in.

Opening the debate, the Labour leader said he has had "strong disagreements" with every prime minister that has served during his time in the Commons. "He has got to start this process now".

'Her shambolic negotiations have ended in failure and she no longer has the authority to negotiate for this country when she doesn't even have the authority of her own party'.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour insiders know they can't win a no-confidence vote unless they have the DUP on side, and while the prime minister is racing around Europe trying to win concessions on the Northern Irish backstop they're holding their fire.

And it would stand very little chance of success without Labour or Conservative backing.

A motion of no confidence, if passed, would force a new election unless an alternative government can be formed by the opposition.

"What is about is tackling together the real problems that affect this country and, right now, are going to be harder to address if we go ahead with Brexit".

The delay to the so-called "meaningful vote" by MPs means that ratification may not be possible until as late as 10 weeks before the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29.

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