Another Brexit defeat for Boris Johnson in Parliament; call for general elections also rejected

London | UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a double defeat in the Parliament on Wednesday as MPs backed a bill to block a no-deal Brexit.

The MPs also turned down a motion tabled by the Prime Minister for general elections in October.

The bill to block no deal passed all its stages in the Commons in one day, with the support of most opposition parties and 21 Tory rebels, as they tried to push it through ahead of Parliament being suspended next week.

It will now go to the House of Lords for approval.

Opposition MPs and Tory rebels ensured the bill to prevent Britain leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal in place passed its first stage of reading by 329 votes to 300 and then its final stage by 327 and 299 votes.

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The bill says the prime minister will have until 19 October to either pass a deal in Parliament or get MPs to approve a no-deal Brexit.

Once this deadline has passed, he will have to request an extension to the UK’s departure date to 31 January 2020.

It meant Boris Johnson would be forced to ask for the EU for extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline if a so-called divorce pact is not in place by mid-October.

Boris Johnson had already warned that he would rather push for an immediate vote on an early general election for October 15 if the “surrender bill” cleared all the Commons stages.

“I don’t want an election, the public don’t want an election but this House has left no other option than letting the public decide who they want as Prime Minister,” said Johnson, as he tabled the bill for an “early general election”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson’s offer of an election was “a bit like an offer of an apple to Snow White from the Wicked Queen… offering the poison of a no deal”.

He added: “Let this bill [to block a no deal] pass and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out.”

It would seem that Boris Johnson’s six-week-old government, which came to power in July at the end of a bruising leadership battle on a “do or die” Brexit pledge, now stands in complete disarray.

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