Smaller British opposition parties table vote of no confidence in government

Anti-Brexit campaigners wave the Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London, on Dec 17, 2018.
Anti-Brexit campaigners wave the Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London, on Dec 17, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - The Scottish National Party (SNP) and other minor British opposition parties have tabled a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government, the SNP said.

The SNP, the third-largest party in the House of Commons, was joined by the Liberal Democrats, Welsh party Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, but not the main opposition Labour Party, in tabling the motion.

The parties want the government to debate the motion before Parliament rises for the Christmas recess.

"I am demanding that the government give time for this debate," SNP lawmaker Ian Blackford said on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec 18).

However, the government is obliged to give time only to motions tabled in the name of the Leader of the Opposition - Labour's Jeremy Corbyn.

A Downing Street spokeswoman declined to comment.

On Monday, the Labour Party lodged a motion of no confidence in Mrs May herself for not quickly re-scheduling a vote by lawmakers on her Brexit plan that she delayed last week, but the government did not allow parliamentary time for a debate.

With just over 100 days until Britain is due to leave the European Union, Mrs May has yet to win the support of a deeply divided Parliament for the deal she struck last month with Brussels to maintain close ties with the bloc.

She has said a delayed vote on her deal will take place in mid-January, prompting some lawmakers to accuse her of trying to force Parliament into backing her by running down the clock as the March 29 exit day approaches.