British politics has been thrown into further chaos and Brexit into doubt Wednesday as Conservative lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May that will see her removed as party and government leader if she loses. May vowed to fight the challenge "with everything I've got," after Graham Brady, who heads a committee overseeing Conservative leadership contests, said he had received letters from at least 48 lawmakers asking for a vote. Brady said the vote would be held in Parliament between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday, with the results announced soon after. The announcement puts Britain's already rocky path out of the European Union, which it is due to leave in March, into further question, the AP reports.
Many Conservative lawmakers have been growing angry with May over her handling of Brexit, and the challenge comes days after she postponed a vote to approve a divorce deal with the EU to avoid all-but-certain defeat. If she loses the confidence vote, May must step down and there will be a contest to choose a new leader. She will remain leader, and prime minister, until the successor is picked. If she wins, she can't be challenged again for a year. In a defiant statement outside 10 Downing St., May said "a change of leadership in the Conservative Party now will put our country's future at risk." She said ousting her and holding a leadership vote—a process that could take weeks—could result in Brexit being delayed or even stopped. (May's tour of European capitals did not go well.)
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