Why May is confronted with a British trust vote (and how it works): QuickTake

The nation that has given the world parliamentary democracy stands for the most dramatic act of the system: a vote to remove the government from its office. In the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, the voices against mistrust are testing whether the government still claims the support of the majority of legislators, and there is no limit to how often an opposition leader can propose one. It is the way to start general elections and provides a path to power for Jeremy Corbyn's socialist Labor Party.

1. How does a voice work against not trusting?

There will be a debate followed by a vote on Wednesday to determine whether a majority of the legislators still support the British government of Prime Minister Theresa May. Every member of Parliament takes part. May has no majority and relies on the 10 lawmakers of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party to support its government. The DUP is furious about her Brexit plan, so it is not a matter of course that she would support her.

2. What happens if May wins?

We return to the Brexit bickering. There are no rules for when the next explanation of vote can be held with suspicion, so successive challenges are possible.

3. What happens if she loses?

The clock begins to tick. The law that governed this process was only adopted in 2011 and this process has never been tested before. The only thing that is clear is that Parliament has 14 days to find a government that can adopt a vote of confidence. The Conservative Party of May, as the largest, has the first chance to try this, but Labor can also try to get support. Or in the current extraordinary circumstances, a kind of alliance between parties could arise for a soft Brexit. If at that time no government can win a vote, Parliament will be "dissolved" and a general election is planned.

4. Would she resign?

Not necessary. She could try to convince lawmakers who had not voted for her government to come to her side.

5. When was the last time this happened?

In 1979, the Labor government lost a vote of no confidence in one vote, leading to an election that brought Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to power.

6. Did we have no vote in December without confidence?

That was a different kind. The Brexit deal that struck the European Union was so detested within the Conservative Party that its own legislators created a leadership problem to try to overthrow it from the party's top and premiership. She survived with a voice of 200 to 117 in a secret vote on 12 December. In the United Kingdom, the leader of the ruling party is the prime minister. Under party rules, she can no longer be challenged as party leader for a year.

Contact the reporter about this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

Contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Emma Ross-Thomas, Leah Harrison Singer

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.