The British government will not allow lawmakers to vote on a symbolic motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May, forcing the opposition to decide whether it will now try to topple her entire administration.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the vote of no confidence in May after she delayed Parliament’s vote on her Brexit deal until January.
May announced that she would reschedule the vote for the week of January 14 — less than 80 days before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29.
It was originally set to take place on December 11, but May delayed the vote after it became clear she would lose by a significant margin.
Corbyn said it was “unacceptable” to make members of Parliament wait until January.
“The Prime Minister has obdurately refused to ensure a vote took place on the date she agreed, she refuses to allow a vote to take place this week and is now, I assume, thinking the vote will be on January 14 — almost a month away,” Corbyn told the Commons.
He said the motion was based on the Prime Minister’s “failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away on the Withdrawal Agreement and framework for future relationships between the UK and European Union.”
The motion — directed at May as opposed to the Government as a whole — would not force the administration to step down if Parliament approved it. But it would increase pressure on the Prime Minister.
However a Downing Street official said later on Monday that it would not allocate parliamentary time for the vote. As the motion was non-binding, the decision of whether to allow it to go ahead was up to the government. A no-confidence vote against the entire government, on the other hand, would have to be scheduled as it would be binding and could trigger a general election if lost.
Ahead of the move, Labour said “the government must now make time to debate this — if they don’t it’s clear they believe she does not retain confidence of (the) House of Commons.”
Corbyn accused May on Monday of leading the UK into a “national crisis” as she ignored pleas to abandon her widely criticized Brexit deal.
“I know this is not everyone’s perfect deal. It is a compromise,” May said. “But if we let the perfect be the enemy of the good, we risk leaving the EU with no deal.”