Theresa May to face confidence vote

"Changing our leader right now would be an act of utter self-indulgence and it wouldn't change anything on Brexit".

Brady said that the party aimed to finish the first stage of any leadership contest - in which lawmakers vote to whittle down the field of contenders to two - before Parliament breaks for Christmas on December 20.

Mrs May will need the backing of at least 158 Conservative MPs to remain as leader.

And Medway council leader Alan Jarrett said he had lost confidence in the leader but did not want her to stand aside yet.

She received sympathy from European Union partners but firm rejections of any attempt to reopen the agreement, which was approved by European Union leaders last month following tortuous negotiations.

A schism over Europe in the Conservative Party over Britain's relationship with the European Union contributed to the fall of all three previous Conservative premiers - David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

She still has the challenge of selling her deal and not just to MPs but to party activists who are equally aggrieved that the Brexit they wanted is not what they have got.

Rees-Mogg, leader of the eurosceptic European Research Group, is among the 48 MPs to have written to Brady calling for a leadership challenge.

Asked if Mrs May planned to lead the party into the next election, he replied: "She said on a number of occasions, in fact she said immediately after the last election in 2016, she would serve for as long as her colleagues wanted her to". "None of that would be in the national interest".

But some ministers expressed support for her with Home Secretary Sajid Javid saying a leadership contest was the last thing Britain needed.

In a defiant statement outside 10 Downing St., May said "a change of leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country's future at risk". "Will be seen as self-indulgent and wrong", Mr Javid said.

The European Court of Justice ruled that when an EU member country has notified its intent to leave, "that member state is free to revoke unilaterally that notification".

The no-confidence vote will take place tonight, between 6pm and 8pm.

Juncker described Brexit as "a surprise guest" at the European Council summit scheduled for this end of this week, adding, "I am surprised because we had reached an agreement on November 25 together with the government of the United Kingdom". "We will judge the best time when to move a vote of no confidence and that will be when we judge it to have the greatest chance of success".

A total of 315 ballots will be cast. If she wins, no new leadership challenge can be called for a year.

What happens if Theresa May loses the vote of no confidence?

There will be a leadership contest to decide her replacement. She will remain leader, and prime minister, until the successor is picked.

A minimum of 48 letters of no-confidence are required to trigger a vote of no confidence. The vote repeats in quick succession - every Tuesday and Thursday.

These two candidates are then put to a postal ballot of the wider Conservative Party membership.

The EU's 27 other members, with a combined economic might six times that of Britain, appeared unlikely to countenance substantive changes which could convince May's domestic opponents.

However, Burnham MP James Heappey has also come out in support of the embattled Prime Minister.

The British Parliament will get its vote before Jan 21, Mrs May's spokeswoman said.

  • Rogelio Becker