Johnson Loses Vote to Expedite Brexit Proposal, Making Withdrawal by End of Month Unlikely

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street in London, England, September 3, 2019. ( Daniel Leal-Olivas/Reuters)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a Parliamentary vote on Tuesday to fast-track his Brexit proposal, all but ensuring that his government will fail to facilitate an exit from the European Union by October 31 as previously promised.

Johnson, who has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit, has threatened to call a general election if the vote didn’t pass.

Britain’s House of Commons did, however, vote to pass Johnson’s bill to ratify Brexit. The bill, which passed 329-299, formally commits Britain to exiting the E.U.

The vote marks the first time Parliament has agreed in principle to Brexit.

Johnson had reached a tentative agreement with Brussels on October 17 on withdrawing from the E.U., but faced resistance when he tried to call a vote on the the agreement in Parliament.

Lawmakers initially withheld approval of the agreement on Saturday. Johnson then tried to schedule a vote on Monday to ratify the bill, but was rebuffed by Parliament Speaker John Bercow, who said the vote would be “repetitive and disorderly.”

Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn hailed the rejection of Johnson’s fast-tracked Brexit.

“Tonight the House has refused to be bounced into debating a hugely significant piece of legislation in just two days — with barely any notice and an analysis of the economic impact of this bill,” Corbyn said after the vote.

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