13 December 2018 - Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs
Hollow victory as Theresa May left weakened by Tory confidence ballot
Michael Settle (The Herald, 12/12/2018)
The scale of the parliamentary task the Prime Minister faces to get her Brexit deal through the Commons is stark as adding the 117 Tory rebels to the number of opposition MPs who could vote against her plan produces a Commons total of 439 compared to just 200 Tories who support her.
Nicola Sturgeon said the result showed Britain now had a “lame duck Prime Minister saddled with a lame duck Brexit deal”.
Damian Green, the PM’s former de facto deputy, said his leader had achieved “a very good result," stressing: "Two hundred is above anyone’s expectation. It’s absolutely decisive.”
This is a national crisis – not the time for a pointless Tory feud
Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian, 12/12/2018)
So begins an epic waste of time and a monumental exercise in displacement activity. The Conservatives have taken a look at the scale of the crisis facing the country and decided their best response is to turn inwards and talk about themselves. With the Brexit clock ticking ever louder, they have retreated into the comfort zone to engage in their favourite pastime – a round of navel-gazing and internecine bloodletting.
We know how that time will be wasted. It’s already following the usual pattern, as multiple cabinet rivals to succeed Theresa May swear their public loyalty to the prime minister and insist that they will oppose the motion of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative party when they, like their fellow Tory MPs, file into a Westminster committee room to cast their vote between 6pm and 8pm this evening.
Before 9am today we had the traditional declaration of defiance from the beleaguered PM herself, Theresa May vowing to fight with “everything I’ve got”, echoing Margaret Thatcher’s 1990 promise: “I shall fight on, I shall fight to win.” (And we know how that worked out.)
Theresa May to fight leadership battle ‘with everything I’ve got’
Richard Hartley-Parkinson (Metro, 12/12/2018)
Speaking on Downing Street she said a leadership election would mean weeks spent tearing the party apart and would only benefit Jeremy Corbyn.
Mrs May said that changing Conservative leader would ‘put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it’ and could lead to Brexit being delayed or prevented.
Mrs May needs to secure the votes of 158 MPs – half the parliamentary party plus one – to remain as Conservative leader, though a vote of 100 or more against her will raise questions about whether she can continue.
Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote
(BBC News, 13/12/2018)
Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, the morning after surviving a vote of confidence.
The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop - a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal.
The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the BBC understands.