UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a no-confidence vote by her own party and will remain PM, but the fact is Brexit is continuing to hurtle off a cliff, and it will eventually take May with it into oblivion.
Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, survived the gravest threat yet to her embattled leadership on Wednesday, winning a confidence motion called by Conservative Party lawmakers angry at her handling of the country’s troubled departure from the European Union.
But the victory celebration, if any, is likely to be short-lived. While Mrs. May survived to fight another day, her win did nothing to alter the parliamentary arithmetic that forced her this week to delay a critical vote on her plan for withdrawal from the European Union, or Brexit.
John Springford, deputy director of the Center for European Reform, a London-based research institute, said that the size of the vote against her “is an even clearer signal that she won’t be able to get her deal through Parliament, and makes it even more likely that when she puts the deal to the vote she will lose that.”
Mrs. May won the support of 200 Conservative lawmakers, while 117 voted against her. The protest vote exceeded many forecasts, and is expected to compound her difficulties in Parliament. Her enemies were already pressuring her.
“This was a terrible result for the prime minister,” said Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leader of the hard-line pro-Brexit faction.
She won only after promising that she would step aside soon after the Brexit agonies were over, according to reports from a meeting of Conservative Party lawmakers preceding the vote. That removed the generally unwelcome possibility that she would stand as party leader in the next general election.
One Conservative lawmaker, George Freeman, said that Mrs. May had made clear “that she has listened, heard and respects the will of the party that once she has delivered an orderly Brexit, she will step aside for the election of a new leader.”
The problem of course is that May cannot deliver anything close to an "orderly Brexit" and she doesn't have the votes and likely never will. Yes, the bluff by the Tories was called and May survived the no-confidence measure, but there's no visible Brexit solution, and when it all blows up in a few months, it's going to be a disaster of epic proportions.
And somewhere, Vladimir Putin is laughing his ass off.