Brexit: What the no-confidence motion in Theresa May means

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Jeremy Corbyn has lodged a motion expressing no confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister - but that doesn’t mean it will force her from office if it passes, explains Paris Gourtsoyannis.

Labour has been under pressure from other opposition parties to force a vote of no-confidence under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be the subject of a no-confidence motion. Picture: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be the subject of a no-confidence motion. Picture: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw

Under the law that sets out when the UK holds elections, if a majority of MPs backed such a motion, it would trigger a general election and result in the resignation of the Prime Minister if the UK Government couldn’t reverse the result in a second vote within 14 days.

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn to table motion of no-confidence in Theresa May

Labour has resisted the calls, saying they won’t try and collapse the Government until they know they can win and after MPs have had the chance to vote on May’s Brexit deal.

The motion lodged by Corbyn on Monday is indicative. It would embarrass the Prime Minister if it passed, but wouldn’t directly result in any practical outcome.

Lowering the stakes may be deliberate, as the DUP MPs that provide the Government with their majority may be willing to cause Mrs May a fresh headache, without risking a Labour government.

Because Labour doesn’t have any time in the parliamentary schedule this week, it’s up to the Government to choose the motion for debate.

Labour says if the Government doesn’t do this, it is accepting that Parliament has no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the SNP are set to push for their own emergency debate on Brexit, which if granted by the Commons Speaker would likely take place on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Theresa May denies David Cameron giving her Brexit advice