Watch: Suffolk's Tory MPs have Confidence in May - but what next for Brexit?
PUBLISHED: 10:23 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 16 January 2019
MPs are expecting another day of high drama at Westminster on Wednesday as the House of Commons holds a rare vote of confidence in the Government.
If Theresa May loses this, after her massive defeat on Tuesday night, it would put the country firmly on the path to another general election probably in early March.
However that is not expected to happen – all of Tuesday’s Conservative rebels and MPs from the Democratic Unionist Party are expected to support the government which is likely to have a majority of about 20 votes.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is relaxed about Wednesday’s vote – and is already looking ahead to what happens next in the Brexit debate.
He said: “I think it’s clear the government will have a majority in the confidence motion. My colleagues are all clear about the consequences of defeat – a general election and the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn moving into Number 10. We don’t want that!”
But the future of the Brexit negotiations was less clear: “We will have to see what the Prime Minister comes up with – but it seems clear there needs to be talks with people across the political parties to find out what deal would be acceptable.
“At the moment we are in a position where everyone knows what they don’t want, but can agree on what they do want.
“I don’t see ‘no deal’ as an option because we don’t have the legislation in place to deal with trade arrangements and immigration – and I don’t see that getting through because most MPs are opposed to the ‘no deal’ idea because of the damage it would cause business.”
His Conservative colleague Dr Dan Poulter, from Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, agreed with other Tory MPs that Mrs May was likely to survive the confidence vote.
He said: “I don’t see any of my colleagues failing to support the government – to do that would be the end of their career.
“I was surprised by the scale of the defeat – I don’t think it will be easy to find a new way through this but the government clearly has to talk to MPs from across the parties to try to come up with something that is acceptable.”
Suffolk’s only Labour MP Sandy Martin remains hopeful that the confidence vote could be won by his party. He said: “When Jeremy didn’t call the vote before Christmas there was a feeling that we could not win then.
“But this is the biggest government defeat ever and there is no sign of where they are going from here. Who can have confidence in the government now? I’m still not confident about the result of the confidence motion – but I do think anything could happen.”