Edit 3 Dec 2018 1600hrs: the original version of this article stated that Labour had ‘tabled’ a no-confidence motion for 11 Dec. The formal process of tabling the motion – putting it on the parliamentary agenda – has not yet been completed, but Labour’s leadership team has agreed it will be done.
As predicted by the SKWAWKBOX and signalled both yesterday and today by Labour spokespeople to the BBC, Labour’s shadow cabinet has agreed to table a vote of no confidence in the government, to take place after the Commons vote on the government’s Brexit ‘deal’ on the 11 Dec.
If the government loses the vote, the FTPA specifies that:
(3) An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if—
(a) the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in subsection (4), and
(b) the period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion in the form set out in subsection (5).
(4) The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) is—
“That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”
In simple terms, if a motion of no confidence in the government is tabled and the government loses, then Parliament has fourteen days in which to pass a new motion of confidence in the government – or there is a new general election.
If the government loses next Tuesday, fourteen days would be Christmas day – shortening the time available and creating another significant impediment to the government rallying support to win the second vote mandated by the Act.
The FTPA treats ‘days’ and ‘working days’ distinctly and states simply ’14 days’ in the relevant section. There therefore appears to be no provision for the time to be extended because of public or parliamentary holidays.
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