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MPs Vote Through Amendment Backing Delay To Boris Johnson's Brexit Deal

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MPs Vote Through Amendment Backing Delay To Boris Johnson's Brexit Deal

MPs have backed an amendment to delay Boris Johnson's Brexit deal until all of the necessary legislation to bring it into force is passed.

322 Members of the House of Commons voted in favour of the amendment, with 306 voting against it.

That result effectively means that there will be no meaningful vote on whether or not Boris Johnson's deal is acceptable to Parliament today.

The amendment, tabled by Conservative MP Oliver Letwin, was aimed at avoiding a No Deal Brexit on October 31.

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Oliver Letwin. Credit: PA
Oliver Letwin. Credit: PA

However, this also represents yet another defeat for Johnson's government.

Johnson said after the result that he was not dismayed by the outcome, and expects legislation to be completed before October 31, however Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn said that the PM is now bound by law to request an extension from the EU.

Corbyn told Parliament: "It [the passing of the amendment] is an emphatic decision by this house ...The prime minister must now comply with the law."

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Parliament sat on a Saturday for the first time since 1982. Credit: PA
Parliament sat on a Saturday for the first time since 1982. Credit: PA

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson added that as well as complying with the law that impels the Prime Minster to ask the EU for an extension - known as the Benn Act - the decision must go back to the people in a second referendum.

She said: "The most urgent thing now is that the prime minister complies with the law."

That should mean that Johnson must request an extension in writing before 11pm this evening, but the PM said that he has no intention of doing so, and does not believe himself bound by law to do so.

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The Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that Johnson thinks 'himself above the law' but warned that the Prime Minister could find himself in a courtroom if he refuses to comply with the Benn Act.

Thousands gathered to protest in London. Credit: PA
Thousands gathered to protest in London. Credit: PA

As for the amendment's namesake, Oliver Letwin said that now that the change has been made, he will be backing the deal in the knowledge that if no parliamentary consensus is reached before October 31 the UK will not crash from the EU without a deal.

Going forward, it now looks as if the government will introduce full legislation next week with the intent of sticking to the deadline on Halloween. That legislation could go to a vote as early as next Monday.

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Whether or not an extension will have been requested by then, or whether the PM will have the support he needs to pass the legislation remains to be seen.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, brexit, Politics

Tom Wood
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