The UK’s minor opposition parties have tabled a vote of no-confidence in the government of Prime Minister Theresa May as the country could be leaving the European Union without an agreement.
On Monday, May announced that a vote on her Brexit deal would not take place until after Christmas, more than a week after she had sparked a huge controversy by pulling a planned vote.
She told the House of Commons that parliament would be able to begin a week of debate on the Brexit deal on January 14.
The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens met on Tuesday and decided to table a vote of no-confidence, saying it was essential to debate the vote on May’ deal before the Christmas recess begins.
“By tabling our motion on Tuesday evening, we hope to be afforded time by the UK government to debate it before parliament closes for the Christmas recess,” said SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP after meeting with Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable, Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
They also criticized the Labour leader, with Blackford saying, “Opposition leaders have taken the decision to table a vote of no-confidence in the UK government under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – something Jeremy Corbyn has failed to do.”
“It is clear the prime minister’s tactic has been to run down the clock and deprive parliament of any alternative to her deal. Jeremy Corbyn seems happy to let her – presumably to avoid having to make a decision on a second EU referendum. This is not acceptable and people deserve better,” he added.
Meanwhile, Roberts said that “Labour may be the ‘official’ opposition, but this is what real opposition looks like.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman also said, “The SNP seem more interested in Labour’s parliamentary tactics than in the Tory government’s botched Brexit deal, and they have made it clear they do not expect, or even want, this motion to pass. It suits the SNP to keep the Tories in power, with all the chaos and instability that will bring.”
Britain is expected to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. May has time and again reiterated that options after a potential rejection of her Brexit deal in parliament would be either a no-deal departure or no Brexit at all.
Last week May attended an EU summit in Brussels to seek assurances on a controversial clause in the Brexit deal which stipulates how Britain and the bloc should avoid setting up a hard border on the island of Ireland after the separation takes place.
The British premier said that the EU had given her government enough assurances that it would be a remote possibility that the EU could trigger the so-called backstop in December 2020 after a two-year transition period for Brexit ends.