Published: Thu, September 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Boris Johnson loses major vote on Brexit, snap elections likely

Boris Johnson loses major vote on Brexit, snap elections likely

In Tuesday's Brexit vote, 21 Conservative members of Parliament (MPs) voted against the government in order to push through a bill blocking no-deal exit from the United Kingdom (UK), the country's prime minister Boris Johnson took the measure to fire them from the parliamentary party.

The government received 301 votes but failed to beat the motion after 328 MPs including more than 20 Tory MPs voted for it.

The successful vote makes time in the House of Commons on Wednesday to introduce legislation that could force Johnson to delay Brexit to January 31 if he cannot agree an European Union deal by October 19.

Addressing a packed House of Commons, Johnson said he does not want an election but if MPs vote for the no-deal bill on Wednesday the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on October 17.

MPs plan to propose legislation this week that will force Johnson to get a three-month extension from the European Union so Britain doesn't leave the trade bloc on October 31.

If the vote on Wednesday also goes against Johnson, he will be tied down by Parliament to seek until at least January 31, 2020, to finalise a so-called divorce bill.

MPs have cleared the first hurdle in an attempt to pass a law to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Thirdly, they did it because they know - everybody knows - that members of the current Tory leadership have chosen this destructive path not for the sake of the country, not for the well-being of the British, not for the future of their children, but because they are afraid that, having promised Brexit and failed to deliver, they will lose the next election.

Most of the rebels back Brexit in principle, but won't allow Johnson to leave without a deal.

"It means running up the white flag", Johnson said.

The Lib Dems said they "are delighted to announce that Bracknell MP Phillip Lee has joined the party", and their leader Jo Swinson said of Mr Lee: "He shares our commitment to prevent a disastrous No Deal Brexit, and to stop Brexit altogether".

Ministers have begun arriving for a Cabinet meeting hours after the Prime Minister's defeat in Parliament on Tuesday night.

The source said Mr Johnson would request a general election on October 14 if the motion got the necessary support of two-thirds of MPs under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA).

He told BBC's Newsnight: "I don't recognise this".

According to reports in the British media Monday, the government had told members of Johnson's Conservative party Monday they would be thrown out if they voted in favor of extending the deadline. Preventing a so-called no-deal Brexit has always been an aspiration of remainers in Parliament, but opposed by Brexiteers as it ties the government's hands in negotiations with Brussels.

Ms James said she was mulling over the possibility of standing as an independent at the next election.

Meanwhile, the Irish government said last night it had stepped up its contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.

"This is a government with no mandate, no morals, and as of today, no majority", Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

"The fact is he's so desperate to have a election to bring this House's proceedings to an end, to have the election before October 31st, and he's obviously going to campaign before that on the basis he's been thwarted getting an unbelievable beneficial deal for this country".

A general election would likely be chaotic and extremely bitter, and there are no guarantees it would transform the parliamentary arithmetic in favor or against advocates of a no-deal Brexit.

Like this: