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UK Policy Update – No Confidence Vote on PM May

On 12th December 2018, the UK Parliament held a vote of no confidence on PM Theresa May. She won the vote; but not decisively – 200 in favour vs 117 against. That is, over a third of the party voted against her. This leaves UK politics in an unchanged position: a weak PM struggling to get a deal Brexit through Parliament without a realistic majority. There are no immediate implications for our members in the UK.

Following the vote of no confidence, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announced that the Immigration White Paper would be published next week, exact date and time yet to be announced. We expect the White Paper to be mainly principles-based, with little substantive detail about how the future immigration system would work in practice. The UK Government will have to leave enough room in the White Paper in case concessions on immigration ends up forming part of a future Brexit/trade deal with the EU.

NASSCOM will be working with our key members in the UK to respond to call-for-response that typically accompany such White Papers. This will ensure key areas of interest for NASSCOM’s members are reflected in the submission. Please connect with us for further details.

Some additional details on the no-confidence vote and political implications thereof –

  • The vote was triggered by the submission of 48 letters of no confidence in the PM. This followed the delay to the meaningful vote on the Brexit deal
  • Post the vote, early reaction from her opponents in the party is that they regard this as a win
  • PM May will now continue her attempts to renegotiate the Brexit deal, but the EU remains unwilling to make changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Consequently, she is unlikely to win the support she needs for her deal from within her own party
  • Theresa May will now be more vulnerable to political and media calls for her to step-down. If these build over the next few days, they may become impossible to ignore. And even if she does stay the course, as she has done so many times before, the margin of victory makes her ability to extract more concessions from the EU, face down the DUP and/or win the meaningful vote all the more difficult
  • Over the longer term, if PM May is unable to renegotiate a Brexit deal that is acceptable to her party and to Parliament, a government-backed referendum on the terms of the deal and a General Election in 2019 become more likely

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