0123 GMT November 21, 2019
In the latest development, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, says he is confident that MPs will back the proposed deal next week.
The PM had hoped to pass his deal yesterday but his plans were thwarted by Tory MP Oliver Letwin, who introduced an amendment withholding approval of the deal until all necessary legislation is in place, Presstv Reported.
Letwin’s amendment – which in essence makes an “accidental” no-deal Brexit impossible – was passed by a narrow margin, 322 votes to 306.
Yesterday’s sitting in Parliament was the first time in 37 years that the House of Commons had convened on a Saturday.
The immediate consequence of the amendment was to force Johnson to send a letter to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, requesting a three-month delay to Brexit.
But in a typically defiant move, Johnson’s letter to Tusk was unsigned and was accompanied by a second signed letter explaining that he believed a delay would be a “mistake”.
Speaking with the BBC Andrew Marr show today, Raab said that “notwithstanding the parliamentary shenanigans, we appear to have now the numbers to get this through”.
Meanwhile, the shadow chancellor, the Labour party’s John McDonnell, told Sky News that the PM could be in “contempt of court” for sending an unsigned letter to the European Union.
McDonnell accused Johnson of “behaving like a spoilt brat” and contriving “theatre by sending the request in an unsigned letter alongside a second personal plea to Brussels not to grant any delay”.