News ID: 260547
Published: 0312 GMT October 21, 2019

UK Commons speaker deals new blow to Johnson’s Brexit plan

UK Commons speaker deals new blow to Johnson’s Brexit plan
REUTERS

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to lead Britain out of the European Union at the end of this month hit another roadblock Monday when the speaker of the House of Commons rejected his attempt to hold a new vote of lawmakers on his Brexit divorce deal.

With just 10 days to go until the UK is due to leave the bloc on Oct. 31, Johnson’s government planned to ask for a “straight up-and-down vote” on the agreement he struck last week with the 27 other EU nations, AP wrote.

The request came just two days after lawmakers voted to delay approving the Brexit deal. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow could refuse to allow such a vote because parliamentary rules generally bar the same measure from being considered a second time during the same session of Parliament unless something has changed.

Bercow says the vote sought by the government was “in substance the same” as one held on Saturday and it would be “repetitive and disorderly” to allow a new vote Monday.

Johnson’s Conservative government will now go to its Plan B: get Parliament’s backing for the deal by passing the legislation necessary to implement it. The government plans to publish the bill and hopes to have it become law by Britain’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure date.

But it’s unclear whether the bill can win majority backing in Parliament, and opposition lawmakers will try to seek amendments that could alter or scuttle it.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged lawmakers to back the bill and — more than three years after British voters narrowly voted to leave the EU — “enable us to move onto the people’s priorities like health, education and crime.”

“This is the chance to leave the EU with a deal on Oct. 31,” he said. “If Parliament wants to respect the referendum, it must back the bill.”

With the Brexit deadline looming and British politicians still squabbling over the country’s departure terms, Johnson has been forced to ask the EU for a three-month delay to Britain’s departure date.

He did that, grudgingly, to comply with a law passed by Parliament ordering the government to postpone Brexit rather than risk the economic damage that could come from a no-deal exit. But Johnson accompanied the unsigned letter to the EU late Saturday with a second note saying that he personally opposed delaying the UK’s Oct. 31 exit.

 

 

 

   
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