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The rules for Wednesday’s no-confidence vote in Parliament

January 15, 2019
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In this grab taken from video, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May lost a vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Jan. 15, 2019. British lawmakers have plunged Brexit into chaos and the U.K. politics into crisis by rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union. The 432 to 202 vote in the House of Commons was widely expected but still devastating for May, whose fragile leadership is now under siege. (House of Commons/PA via AP)
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In this grab taken from video, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May lost a vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Jan. 15, 2019. British lawmakers have plunged Brexit into chaos and the U.K. politics into crisis by rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union. The 432 to 202 vote in the House of Commons was widely expected but still devastating for May, whose fragile leadership is now under siege. (House of Commons/PA via AP)

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party has put forward a “no-confidence” motion in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, triggering a vote on its future that is scheduled for Wednesday.

He acted after May’s plan to withdraw Britain from the European Union was overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday by lawmakers.

The no-confidence measure, also known as a censure motion, will test whether a majority of lawmakers support the proposition “that this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

If a majority expresses no confidence in May’s government, it would have 14 days to try to win back the support of a majority in Parliament to maintain power.

If unable to do so, an early general election would be triggered. An election normally takes five to six weeks, and May would remain in office as a caretaker prime minister during the campaign.

The no-confidence vote on May’s government is completely different from the no-confidence vote she faced in December, when members of her Conservative Party challenged her role as party leader. She survived that vote unscathed.

The rules governing the no confidence vote in the government were changed when the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was enacted in 2011 to make it more difficult to bring down a government.

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