By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
British Prime Minister Theresa May said late Wednesday that she has started constructive meetings with the representatives of opposition parties to find a way forward on Brexit.
In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, May said she has met with the leader of the Liberal Democrats and Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Wales’ Plaid Cymru party and she will continue such meetings with groups of MPs representing the widest possible range of views from parliament, including MPs of her confidence and supply partners the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
“This evening, the government has won the confidence of parliament,” May said.
“This now gives us all the opportunity to focus on finding a way forward on Brexit.”
Describing the political events of the past 24 hours as “unsettling,” May said the “British people overwhelmingly want us to get on with delivering Brexit”.
She said the deal she agreed with the European Union was rejected by MPs by a large margin.
“I believe it is my duty to deliver on the British people’s instruction to leave the European Union,” May said.
“And I intend to do so.”
The prime minister said she was disappointed that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has chosen not to take part in talks, “but the door remains open”.
“In a historic vote in 2016, the country decided to leave the EU. In 2017, 80 percent of people voted for parties that stood on manifestos promising to respect that result,” she said.
“Now over two and a half years later, it’s time for us to come together, put the national interest first and deliver on the referendum.”
- Vote of no confidence
Earlier on Wednesday, and after Tuesday’s humiliating defeat in a vote on the EU Brexit agreement, May’s Brexit government survived a motion of no confidence with the backing of 326 MPs.
Almost all Conservative MPs backed May’s government Wednesday, even though 118 of them voted against the Brexit deal Tuesday.
The DUP, the government’s de facto partner and Northern Ireland’s biggest party, also voted for May’s government, helping it survive the test.
The Labour Party, Scottish Nationalist Party and Liberal Democrats all voted against the government. The total number of MPs who had no confidence in the government was 306.
May said following the vote that she wants to start talks with the leaders of the opposition parties tonight about a way forward on Brexit.
However, Labour leader Corbyn said he has no intention of starting talks with May unless she rules out a no-deal Brexit.
The motion of no confidence was called by Corbyn in the wake of Tuesday’s historic defeat of 432-202.