Theresa May's Catastrophic Brexit Deal Defeat

The Prime Minister's deal was voted down in a historic defeat in the Commons

As many people will know, Theresa May suffered a historic defeat on Tuesday night, with her Brexit deal being rejected by a landslide 230 votes. This defeat has been labelled as the biggest in history, with defeats by 100 plus votes already being extremely rare. However, the question is, what were the biggest defeats before the night of Tuesday 15 2019?

The second, third and fourth biggest defeats all occurred in Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour minority government in 1924. On October 8 1924, two government motions were defeated by margins of 166 and 161 votes. The votes were related to the government’s response to dropping criminal proceedings against the editor of the Communist newspaper Workers Weekly, John Ross Campbell. Following a motion of no confidence in the government, a general election was held a few weeks later. The outcome saw the Conservatives gain 150 more seats and Stanley Baldwin’s return to power. Earlier in the year on 3 June, the government similarly suffered a defeat on its Housing Bill by 140 votes.

Although the government did suffer three very large defeats in 1924, they were all not at all close to the 432 votes to 202 this Tuesday, which puts the size of the night’s defeat into perspective. Nobody knows what the future holds for the UK and Brexit talks, and it has become clear that there are so many different views which will have to be reconciled.

Natalia V