Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Brexit: No-deal opponents defeat government

Brexit: No-deal opponents defeat government

Tory rebels have accused Boris Johnson of risking the destruction of the party as they vowed to defy threats of deselection and vote to block a no-deal Brexit.

The government has said that if it loses a vote on delaying Brexit later on Tuesday it will put forward another vote on Wednesday to hold an early election on October 14.

Johnson took office in July promising to deliver on the 2016 referendum vote for Brexit, and take Britain out of the European Union on Oct 31 no matter what.

That set up an historic showdown between prime minister and parliament in a country once touted as a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.

More than three years after the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, the outcome of the Brexit crisis remains uncertain, with possible outcomes ranging from a turbulent no-deal exit to abandoning the whole endeavour.

Leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage speaks onstage on August 27, 2019 in London.

Shortly after crossing the floor Phillip Lee, who supports a second European Union referendum, released a strongly-worded statement announcing he had joined the centre-left Liberal Democrats.

"For all the uncertainty that lies ahead, markets see a Boris Johnson led no-deal Brexit as the worst-case scenario and thus treat anything that undermines that as pound positive", said Joshua Mahony at IG.

Former editor-in-chief of Human Events and Breitbart News London Raheem Kassam told Salon by email that "the defection of Lee and possible defections of others have been an entirely foreseeable eventuality of Johnson's firmer stance on Brexit than his predecessor Theresa May's".

"The Prime Minister does not want an election, he wants four weeks of negotiations to get a deal, so if MPs vote for another pointless delay they will have to explain to people what they are doing".

Rebels within Johnson's party are working with opposition lawmakers to try to force him to delay Brexit if he can not agree on divorce terms with the European Union in time.

The source told the newspaper: "If MPs vote against the Government tonight they will effectively be handing Jeremy Corbyn control of the negotiations".

Labour's shadow Northern Ireland secretary Tony Lloyd later said that Labour would first push to have legislation passed blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Parliament returned to session for the first time since the prime minister moved to suspend the lawmaking body, beginning around September 9 and leaving it in recess until October 14 - or for more than half the weeks remaining before Johnson's deadline.

An early election could give Johnson a majority, although it is also a big risk, as the political landscape was deeply fragmented by the 2016 referendum.

A cross-party group of lawmakers is arguing in a Scottish court that Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for part of the period before the Brexit deadline should be overturned.

Fears of an abrupt "no-deal" Brexit were rising elsewhere.

The Prime Minister said he would table a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on Tuesday night.

In what was seen as a swipe at the Prime Minister's controversial right-hand man, Dominic Cummings, he said: "I am going to defend my party against incomers, entryists, who are trying to turn it from a broad church to narrow faction".

"So the outlook for sterling is very much determined about the probabilities of a no-deal Brexit".

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