POLITICS
17/12/2018 19:34 GMT | Updated 17/12/2018 20:25 GMT

So What Happens Now? Jeremy Corbyn's No Confidence Motion In Theresa May Explained

Has the Labour leader played a blinder – or blown it?

It’s been a turbulent day (okay, month) in the House of Commons.

In her long-running battle to get her draft Brexit agreement through parliament, Theresa May has faced many an uphill struggle – including a delayed vote and a leadership challenge.

The latest hurdle she must overcome comes from the opposition benches, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in her premiership following a somewhat confusing day in Westminster.

So, what does it all mean, and what is likely to happen next? 

Here’s everything you need to know...

What Exactly Has Jeremy Corbyn Done?

The Labour leader has tabled a no confidence motion in Prime Minister Theresa May because of her decision to delay the ‘meaningful’ vote on Brexit, which was meant to be held last week, until the week beginning January 14.

If It Passes, Will We Have A General Election?

No. It is a motion of no confidence in the prime minister rather than her administration as a whole.

The only way to trigger a general election is set out in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and involves tabling a motion of no confidence in the government.

However, the Commons constitutional watchdog last week said the act “in no way affects the fundamental principle that the government’s authority to govern rests on the confidence of the House, however it chooses to express it”.

So What Happens If It Does Pass?

Despite being non-binding, the motion would carry huge weight if it passes, as it would almost certainly mean either some Tories or the DUP, which props up May’s minority government, had backed it.

The PM’s authority would be left in tatters and she would come under immense and almost insurmountable pressure to resign.

But Has Corbyn Blown It, Or Played A Blinder?

He looks to have blown it, as the Tory European Research Group of at least 40 MPs have said they will back the PM against the “meaningless Labour motion”.

May has also made clear to the DUP that she will seek to satisfy them in her attempts to win fresh reassurances from Brussels on her Brexit deal, meaning they may be less willing to pull the trigger just yet.

This comes despite 117 Tory MPs voting to oust her in the party’s own confidence vote last week.

However, that was crucially a secret ballot rather than a very public vote in the House of Commons, in which Conservatives would be far less likely to put their heads above the parapet.

It the motion fails, Corbyn will come under even more intense pressure to back a second referendum, as it would appear clear that Labour could not force a general election.

When Will The Vote On It Happen?

The government has to make time for a debate and vote on the motion.

Under established convention, the government always agrees to do this for motions which have the effect of testing the confidence of the Commons.

However, parliamentary officials said it would be up to the government to determine whether a confidence motion in the PM of this type is covered by this convention.

A Number 10 source said the government will respond once they have considered the motion.

But Labour insisted the government must find time to debate this on Tuesday and that if they refuse “it is clear that [May] does not believe she retains the confidence of the House”.