A majority of UK lawmakers, on all sides of the Brexit divide, so disliked the deal May had cooked up with the European Union that they were willing to kill it. Her government suffered a record loss of 432 votes to 202 a margin of 230 that puts it in the history books.
In some respects, the point of holding the vote wasn’t to win it, but to drag MPs into the open and make clear to the EU the strength of opposition to May’s deal. It was only ever going to be a numbers game how thumping would the defeat be..
Second, the UK is still on track to leave the EU on March 29, 2019 with or without a deal.
That’s because on March 29, 2017, May delivered a notification to the EU Council President, Donald Tusk, under article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
Article 50 is a legal mechanism that sets into motion a process by which, after two years, a member state legally ends its EU membership either with an agreed exit deal or the immediate termination of all the shared legal arrangements that accompany membership. Nothing about Tuesday’s vote has altered that trajectory.
Coming back to the first point, there is a serious question that must now be asked of the UK’s political class. We know what they are against, but what are they for..
Of the many Brexit options on the table, we are none the wiser as to which can command the parliamentary majority that May seeks to secure.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called Theresa May’s administration a “zombie government” that “cannot govern” as he called for a general election.
Opening a debate on a no-confidence motion, Mr Corbyn said the government “should do the right thing and resign” after Tuesday night’s record-breaking defeat on its Brexit legislation.
The prime minister said an election was “simply not in the national interest”.
The no-confidence vote is expected to be held at about 19:00 GMT.
Mr Corbyn’s motion is backed by MPs from the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Green Party.
But senior Labour figures accept it is not likely to succeed, as she has the backing of Tory rebels and the DUP’s 10 MPs, – who less than 24 hours ago helped inflict a humiliating defeat on her.
Labour says further no-confidence votes could follow if this one fails.