British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament on Wednesday to remain in office but saw more of her power slip away as she battled to keep Brexit on track after lawmakers demolished her European Union divorce deal.
May won a narrow victory, 325 votes to 306 votes, on an opposition motion seeking to topple her government and trigger a general election. Now it’s back to Brexit, where May is caught between the rock of her own red lines and the hard place of a Parliament that wants to force a radical change of course.
After winning the vote, May promised to hold talks with leaders of opposition parties and other lawmakers, starting immediately, in a bid to find a way forward for Britain’s EU exit.
May, who leads a divided Parliament and a gridlocked Brexit process, said she was staying put. May said an election “would deepen division when we need unity, it would bring chaos when we need certainty, and it would bring delay when we need to move forward.”
The government survived Wednesday’s vote with support from May’s Conservative Party and its Northern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party. Many pro-Brexit Conservatives who voted against May’s deal, backed her in the no-confidence vote to avoid an election that could bring a left-wing Labour government to power.
Had the government lost, Britain would have faced a snap election within weeks, just before the country is due to leave the European Union on March 29.