London: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday called on MPs to “put self-interest aside” and “work constructively together” to find a way forward for Brexit, following her slim victory in a no-confidence vote. A day after overwhelmingly rejecting her Brexit deal, rebel Conservatives and Democratic Unionist party (DUP) MPs on Wednesday night swung behind May to defeat Labour’s motion of no confidence by 325 votes to 306 — a majority of 19.
On Tuesday night, MPs voted against May’s plans for Brexit by a historic margin when it was rejected by 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history, the BBC reported. In a statement in Downing Street shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, May said: “It will not be an easy task, but MPs know they have a duty to act in the national interest, reach a consensus and get this (Brexit) done.”
The Prime Minister said she wanted to approach the discussions in a “constructive spirit”. May is expected to hold meetings with both Conservative Brexiteers and the DUP on Thursday. The Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru all spoke with Theresa May on Wednesday. Meanwhile, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that before any “positive discussions” can take place, the prime minister should rule out a no-deal Brexit.
Corbyn is now likely to come under pressure from party activists to move towards supporting a second referendum. A group of more than 70 Labour MPs announced on Wednesday morning that they were backing the call for a “people’s vote”. MPs on both the Remain and the Leave wings of the party have warned May that she needs to make major changes to the deal if she is to get it through the Commons. But there remains deep division among May’s own MPs – including within her cabinet – about possible compromises, such as the option of staying in a customs union. Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29.