Monday, 06 April, 2020


Brexit: British PM Boris Johnson loses second bid for early election

Boris Johnson Boris Johnson
Bennie Garza | 10 September, 2019, 16:51

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suffered another humiliating defeat in Britain's Parliament after his second bid for a snap general election was rejected by MPs.

It is the second time that Johnson failed to get sufficient two-thirds majority at the House of Commons required by law for an early general election.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr. Johnson had no mandate to push for a no-deal Brexit and that it would be a disaster for the country.

Following a call from the Welsh nationalist leader at Westminster, Liz Saville-Roberts, for Mr Johnson to be impeached if he is found in contempt of parliament, Mr Blackford said that if the Prime Minister refuses to ask the European Union for a Brexit extension "he's going to find that he has the full force of law standing against him".

It was a final show of defiance in a stormy parliamentary session in which Johnson also lost a separate vote, calling on the government to publish confidential papers about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on October 31, and Mr Johnson says the country's delayed exit must happen then, with or without a divorce agreement to smooth the way.

There is speculation Mr Johnson could resign rather than ask for a delay, but someone - perhaps a civil servant, or an opposition politician - would have to make the request.

After expelling 21 of his Conservative MPs who rebelled over the Brexit law last week, Mr Johnson no longer has a majority in the 650-seat House of Commons. "We are open to alternatives, but they must realistic ones, legally binding and workable and we haven't received such proposals to date".

"In the absence of agreed alternative arrangements, no backstop is no deal for us", he said.

The law that took effect on Monday does allow for one scenario in which a no-deal Brexit could take place on October 31 - if parliament approved a no-deal exit by October 19.

While Mr Johnson was making his way back to London, the Queen gave assent to legislation created to stop him forcing through a no-deal.

House of Commons
MPs pack the Commons

Ireland told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday that he must make specific proposals on the future of the Irish border if there is to be any hope of averting a no-deal Brexit, saying Dublin can not rely on simple promises.

"It is not typical", said Bercow, who stunned the House of Commons by announcing his decision to step down October 31 after 10 years as speaker.

Immediately after the vote, Parliament will be prorogued, or suspended, a highly unusual move by the government that limits Parliament's ability to block Johnson's plans for Brexit.

Lawmakers are trying to stop a no-deal Brexit, and some have branded the suspension a "coup".

Some MPs made a decision to sit out the announcement on PM Boris Johnson's demand to prorogue Parliament in the House of Commons.

If the Brexit-dominated general election everyone is talking about ever gets called, there could be some surprises in store, given the vagaries of British voters, says Ian Swanson.

The string of stinging defeats was capped Monday with his failure to obtain the votes necessary to call a snap election next month.

In a tearful statement on Monday, Mr. Bercow told MPs that he'd always acted in the best interests of parliamentary democracy and he added: "I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time".

He said: "We've got an awesome situation here - after only a few weeks as Prime Minister, he has difficulties with Parliament and he closes it down, he has difficulties with his ministers and he shuts them up, he has difficulty with his party and he throws the members out, he's got difficulty with the constitution and he simply tears it apart, and of course he has difficulty with the law and he seems willing to consider breaking it".

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow gestures during a meeting at the G7 parliaments summit, in Brest, western France, September 6, 2019. 'Strip away the politics and at the core of each problem you find practical issues that can be resolved with sufficient energy and a spirit of compromise, ' he said.

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