December 12, 2018 / 8:09 AM / 5 months ago

Instant View: Will Conservative lawmakers ditch UK PM May?

LONDON (Reuters) - Lawmakers in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party on Wednesday triggered a confidence vote in her leadership, plunging the country’s planned divorce from the European Union into deeper uncertainty.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media outside 10 Downing Street after it was announced that the Conservative Party will hold a vote of no confidence in her leadership, in London, Britain, December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Reaction:

Prime Minister Theresa May

“I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got.”

“A change of leadership in the Conservative Party now would put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it.”

“Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more division just as we should be standing together to serve our country.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn:

“The time for dithering and delay by this government is over. The prime minister has negotiated her deal. She has told us it is the best and only deal available. There can be no more excuses, no more running away. Put it before parliament and let’s have the vote.

“Will she now put this deal before parliament and halt this escalating crisis that is so damaging to the lives of so many people in this country?”

Finance minister Philip Hammond

“The Prime Minister has worked hard in the national interest since the day she took office and will have my full support in the vote tonight. Her deal means we leave the EU on time, whilst protecting our jobs and our businesses.”

John Normand, head of cross-asset fundamental strategy, JP Morgan

    “If the government is led by a hard Brexiteer or parliament opts for a no deal, I would say sterling could fall 5 percent, it could fall 10. The reason is from there the focus will be around potential capital flight or long-term hedging as opposed to the liquidation of investor positions by traditional asset managers or hedge funds.

“The base case is eventually there will be a realisation that soft Brexit is better than hard Brexit and that there’s only one option to achieve that soft Brexit and a vote will pass even if there’s one or two failures first. But the timeline on this is obviously unclear. And there are other potential scenarios which add to the volatility of the market.”

Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays:

“We still think a crash out is very unlikely. Our base case is that we get a deal (but) the market is starting to price in a very high probability of a no deal scenario.

“I don’t think we can bet on who will win. I think it’s about the market’s interpretation of the capacity of the person in charge to get a deal, and about the timing left to get a deal done.

“I’m not so keen to predict a market move on a hard basis because things can change so quickly that I think no one is trying to position for this. We need to see some clarity on Brexit before people commit new money to Europe. People need to know a hard Brexit is going to be avoided.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss

“I fully support the prime minister and believe it would be completely wrong to have a leadership election now. She is the right person to deliver Brexit and has shown herself to be strong and determined.”

Pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry

“Removing Theresa May at this most critical of times is grossly irresponsible.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove

“I am absolutely sure the prime minister will win.

“I am backing the Prime Minister 100 percent - and I urge every Conservative MP to do the same. She is battling hard for our country and no one is better placed to ensure we deliver on the British people’s decision to leave the EU.”

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt:

“The Prime Minister has my full support, not least because she has always done what she firmly believes is in the national interest. Our country needs us all to fight for a good deal and prepare for a no deal scenario. All eyes and hands should be on that task.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd:

“The PM has my full support. At this critical time we need to support and work with the PM to deliver on leaving the EU, & our domestic agenda - ambitious for improvements to people’s lives & to build on growth of wages & jobs.”

European Research Group Chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg and Deputy Chairman Steve Baker:

“Theresa May’s plan would bring down the government if carried forward. But our Party will rightly not tolerate it. Conservatives must now answer whether they wish to draw ever closer to an election under Mrs May’s leadership. In the national interest, she must go.”

Conservative Party donor Alexander Temerko:

“A new Prime Minister would definitely be good news for British business. A new Prime Minister would have at least some chance of making progress on Brexit. Mrs May has exhausted all her options and her staying in power is just creating more uncertainty for our economy.

“Big and medium-sized business needs a robust guarantee to plan for the long term, not the myopic declaration we’re currently being sold.”

Japanese investment bank Nomura:

“We expect Theresa May should survive the vote... The big risk? It’s a secret ballot.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt:

“I am backing Theresa May tonight. Being PM most difficult job imaginable right now and the last thing the country needs is a damaging and long leadership contest. Brexit was never going to be easy but she is the best person to make sure we actually leave the EU on March 29.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid:

“The last thing our country needs right now is a Conservative Party leadership election. Will be seen as self-indulgent and wrong. PM has my full support and is best person to ensure we leave EU on 29 March”

Housing, Communities and Local Govt Secretary James Brokenshire:

“Strongly support @theresa_may to continue as Leader of @Conservatives and Prime Minister. Now is not the time for this distraction and even more uncertainty. We need to get behind the Prime Minister in the best interests of our country.”

Reporting by UK bureau and Helen Reid, editing by Andy Bruce and William Schomberg

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