Theresa May says she won't run in next general election

Factbox Britain's Brexit vote- How many lawmakers are backing PM May
'It's better than no deal': Do Brits in Europe hope Theresa May wins Brexit vote?
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12 December, 2018

The UK's Conservative Party is voting in a ballot after MPs triggered a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May, plunging the future of Brexit into chaos.

Under the Conservative Party's own regulations, if 48 of its MPs express no confidence in the prime minister, a leadership vote has to take place.

The results of the vote will be announced at 9 p.m.

She added: "I think markets are most concerned that the United Kingdom could leave on March 29 without a deal in place, which many people think would be damaging for the economy and when we get that sort of muse then the pound suffers".

If May survives the leadership vote Wednesday night she will remain safe in her position as leader and prime minister for a year.

In an emergency statement to the House of Commons, May accepted that the divorce deal she struck last month with European Union leaders was likely to be rejected "by a significant margin" if the vote were held today as planned.

Backbencher Anna Soubry said it was time for the prime minister to face down hardline Brexiters on the right of her party.

There will be a leadership contest to decide her replacement. The victor of the vote becomes Conservative leader and prime minister, without the need for a national election.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who is campaigning for a further referendum, told BBC Radio 2 she hoped Mr Rees-Mogg's group would "get a kicking" in the vote and that their "pompous gesturing" will be exposed. May's critics say she has failed to deliver on Brexit.

Brexit is Britain's most significant political and economic decision since the Second World War, though pro-Europeans fear the departure will weaken the West as it grapples with the presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russian Federation and China.

May also warned that finding a successor - who would automatically become prime minister - "would mean either delaying or stopping Brexit".

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May could be toppled if a simple majority of 317 Conservative MPs (members of parliament) vote against her, though a large rebellion could also leave her fatally weakened. Brady said that the party aimed to finish the first stage of any leadership contest - in which lawmakers vote to whittle down the field of contenders to two - before Parliament breaks for Christmas on December 20.

Seeking to consolidate her position, May called an election in June 2017.

A senior German official says British Prime Minister Theresa May won't get any pledge of new negotiations on the Brexit deal when she visits Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He spoke by phone to Tusk Monday, when both reiterated the deal "is the best option and could not be renegotiated", according to his office.

Still, a victory by the narrowest of margins is unlikely to strengthen her authority.

However, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has already indicated the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation for European Union leaders.

A vote on May's agreement scheduled for Tuesday was pulled because she was certain to be defeated with as many as 100 of her party's 315 lawmakers openly opposing her plan.

If the no-confidence vote succeeds, then the ruling Conservative Party will have to choose a new leader.

Many say the conditions under the prime minister's deal are worse.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab are the bookmakers' favourites for the top job if May loses the confidence vote.

May will have to spend the day fighting to convince colleagues she is still the best person to lead the country as it exits the European Union.


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