British MPs Vote to Take Control of Parliamentary Business in bid to Block No-deal Brexit
British MPs were successful tonight (Tuesday) in winning a vote to take control of parliamentary time tomorrow to pass legislation aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit.
The vote was passed by a majority of 27, with 328 MPs voting in favour and 301 against.
It was a fractious first day in the House of Commons, as MPs reconvened following the summer recess.
It commenced with the signal from 21 rebel Tory MPs that they would join forces with opposition MPs to pass the motion.
This was despite the Prime Minister’s statement as he addressed the House of Commons that he felt, ‘the chances of a deal have risen over the last few weeks,’ referring to his meetings with EU leaders over the summer.
As the day progressed Boris Johnson dramatically lost his working majority in the Parliament when former Justice Minister Phillip Lee defected from the Conservative Party, walking across the floor of the House to join the pro-European Liberal Democrats.
Following the passing of the vote tonight, Boris Johnson addressed the House and signalled that a general election would be an inevitability should the legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit be passed tomorrow. He said the vote had put Parliament on the brink of wrecking any deal that it had the potential to reach with Brussels.
He said, ‘I don’t want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and to compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve it.’
He finished by confirming that the Government is tabling a motion for a general election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
Should the bill go ahead tomorrow it would extend Article 50, preventing the UK from leaving the EU without a deal. It would also push the Brexit deadline from October 31st this year to January 31st 2020, at the earliest.
Earlier today Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he is in favour of a general election and the priority at the moment is to ‘prevent a no-deal Brexit.’ He accused the Government of being ‘reckless’ and having only one plan, which is to ‘crash out of the EU without a deal.’
Following the vote tonight he urged Boris Johnson to get the Brexit delay bill through the House of Commons before beginning work to build support for an early election.
Should a general election be called it would be Britain’s third since 2015.
It will be a significantly altered Conservative party arriving to the House of Commons tomorrow. In a meeting with 14 of the rebel MPs this morning, the Prime Minister made it clear that should they vote in favour of the motion they would no longer be able to sit as Conservative Party members.
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