No-deal Brexit: The opponents of a disorderly exit from the EU have given Prime Minister Boris Johnson a serious defeat. 301 opposed out of the total 328 MPs voted on Tuesday evening for a decision paving the way for a law against exit EU without the deal. On Wednesday, the draft will be whipped by the lower house.
If the MPs approve the bill on Wednesday, Johnson wants to vote on a new election. He had already submitted a corresponding draft resolution, the head of government said in the evening. For new election, two-thirds majority of the deputies necessary.
Previously, Johnson had lost his majority. Even while the prime minister was at the podium, conservative MP Phillip Lee democratically left the government on Tuesday in protest of Johnson’s Brexit policy and took his place among the opposition MPs. With that, Johnson’s gossamer majority is finally gone.
The No-Deal Act will force Johnson to request a further postponement of the EU’s exit if no exit agreement with the EU is ratified by 19 October. However, the 27 EU member states would have to agree unanimously to the motion. Johnson wants under no circumstances another Brexit shift.
While the approval of the lower house on the law after the preliminary decision on Tuesday is considered non difficult lurk in the House of Lords numerous pitfalls. The lords must also discuss the bill. There Brexit hardliners are threatening to waste valuable time with a flood of applications and filibuster (persistent talks).
The no-deal opponents are under considerable time pressure because Johnson has ordered Parliament to take a forced break of several weeks, starting next week. The deputies will then return again on 14 October. By contrast, legal proceedings are ongoing, including in Scotland. A decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh is expected on Wednesday morning. In the final instance, the question would probably have to be decided by the Supreme Court in London.
The parliamentarians want to prevent Britain from leaving the EU on 31 October without any transitional rules. They warn of chaos, food shortages and a slump in the economy. However, Johnson wants to keep the option of an unregulated exit open because he hopes the EU will make it into concessions.
Johnson sharply criticized the planned bill of no-deal opponents. That would equate to a “capitulation” to Brussels. “It would allow our friends in Brussels to dictate the terms of the negotiations,” the PM said. Above all, the so-called backstop – an EU-requested guarantee clause for an open border in Ireland – must be deleted. There is movement on the EU’s side, Johnson said. “The chances for a deal have grown.” According to the European Commission, progress in content was not announced until Tuesday.
Whether Johnson could prevail with his desire for a new election, is unclear. The largest opposition party, Labor, is ready for a vote, according to its leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Johnson had threatened the dissenters expulsion from the faction. He makes down candidates who do not like him on Twitter. That’s not the case with Johnson on No-Deal. British politics thrives on an extremely polite tone and centuries-old conventions and habits. But Johnson shows appetite to throw them off. For example, with the good four-week forced break, which he has prescribed the Parliament to prevent long-lasting Brexit debates. Such a long suspension has not existed for decades.
The rebels also no longer follow the fine British way of raising their eyebrows with displeasure, but openly confronting Johnson. “There is undoubtedly a new ruthlessness with the Prime Minister”, stated Dominic Grieve. Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his intention to defend his party against newcomers who wanted to swear the once populist People’s Party on a narrow path. He spoke of “people who are at the center of this government, who may not even be members of the conservative party and who do not care about the future of the party”. This related to Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s main adviser pulling the strings down Downing Street.
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