LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May must win a vote in parliament to get her Brexit deal approved or risk seeing Britain’s exit from the European Union descend into chaos.
May postponed a parliamentary vote on her deal last month, admitting she was set to lose it, instead pledging to seek assurances from the EU to help win over lawmakers. The vote is now due to take place the week beginning Jan. 14.
To win, May and her ministers will have to overcome opposition from across the political spectrum and defeat attempts to alter or delay the Brexit process or derail it altogether.
Here’s how the voting will work:
The debate takes place in the lower house of parliament, the House of Commons. May does not have an outright majority of the 650 lawmakers, and the DUP, the small Northern Irish party that usually props up her government, is opposed to the deal.
May needs 318 votes to get a deal through parliament as seven Sinn Fein lawmakers do not sit, four speakers do not vote and the four tellers are not counted.
Parliament held three days of debate in December before the vote was postponed. The debate is scheduled to restart next Wednesday. The government will propose a timetable for how many days it should last and when the vote will be.
So far the government has set out plans to hold the debate on Jan. 9 and 10. It has also proposed continuing the debate on Jan. 11, although parliament is not due to sit that day.
The December debate was scheduled to last five days,