Theresa May wins no confidence vote - what happens next?
Theresa May has warded off a challenge to her leadership, winning a vote of confidence by 200 votes to 117.
This means she will continue as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, and another no confidence vote cannot be held for the next twelve months.
A warring party
Even after weathering a no confidence vote, Mrs May is still at the helm of a deeply divided party, with Remainers and arch Brexiteers entirely at odds as to how she should now proceed.
Senior Tory MP Sarah Wollsaton said she hoped Eurosceptics’ coup to oust May would lose badly so she could ‘see the back of their pompous threats forever’.
Security Minister Tobias Ellwood said a strong win for Mrs May should make hard Brexiteers consider their position within the Conservative Party.
Brexit supporters on the other hand accuse Remainers of attempting to overturn the result of the referendum by standing in the way of quitting the EU.
Having secured her position, Mrs May will now turn to the arduous task of getting her Brexit deal through Parliament after delaying the vote in the face of a bruising defeat.
She will travel to Europe this week for crisis talks with European leaders in an attempt to rescue her deal, despite the EU maintaining it is not willing to reopen negotiations.
However EU leaders have said they are willing to offer the Prime Minister a ‘helping hand’ to get the deal past warring MPs.
The PM will hope to win enough concessions to persuade rebel MPs to vote her deal through.
In particular she will attempt to gain clarification over the Irish Backstop – the issue that most infuriates hard Brexiteers, who claim the plan could see the UK trapped in a permanent customs union with the EU.
Although the EU will not renegotiate the backstop, they could provide a legally binding text to sit alongside it to reassure MPs it is extremely unlikely to be used.
After the ‘meaningful vote’ was postponed this week in an embarrassing step-down, Number 10 has said the vote will take place some time before 20 January.
If she does manage to win support for the deal, it will be enshrined into law before Britain leaves the EU on 29 March.
Negotiations for a free-trade deal with the EU will then commence, with a view to securing an agreement before the end of the transition deal on 31 December 2019.
If Mrs May fails to manhandle the deal through, she has committed to bringing forward a motion outlining what she plans to do next.
MPs will have the power to amend this motion, which could see Remainers and soft Brexiteers try to push-through a ‘Norway-style’ close future relationship with the EU.
If she does lose, Labour could trigger a vote of no confidence in the entire government in an attempt to bring about a general election.
This could get through with the support of hard Brexiteers hoping to install a new Tory leader in the two weeks before the country goes back to the polls.