Boris Johnson’s hopes of getting Commons backing for his Brexit deal have hit a major stumbling block after MPs voted for an amendment which could force him to seek another delay.
In a special Saturday sitting, the Commons voted by 322 to 306, majority 16, in favour of the amendment by the former Cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin withholding approval until legislation to implement the deal is in place.
MPs have approved Letwin’s amendment which seeks to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
They supported a motion which states they have considered the government’s Brexit deal but parliament “withholds approval” until all legislation implementing Brexit has been passed.
This is the moment the Letwin amendment passes by 322 votes to 306. pic.twitter.com/C3hEjohfxm
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 19, 2019
Labour’s Diane Abbott shared news of the vote:
Boris Johnson hasn’t been able to get his #SellOutDeal through parliament
The ‘man who could get a deal done’, couldn’t pic.twitter.com/oqAhDYsLKn
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) October 19, 2019
Johnson must now ask the EU for a delay:
Letwin passes. So Boris Johnson must now write to the EU requesting a delay – but this does NOT mean UK cannot Brexit on Oct 31st. That depends on how this week goes. https://t.co/CmYySJQsUx
— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) October 19, 2019
However, Johnson immediately said:
I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.
No 10 “Parliament has voted to delay brexit yet again. The PM will not ask for an extension – he will tell EU leaders there should be no delays, they should reject Parliament's letter asking for a delay, and we should get Brexit done on October 31 with our new deal"
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 19, 2019
Which led some people to suggest this may yet wind up in court:
Sounds as if Boris Johnson is going to write the letter, as mandated by the Benn Act, but won't turn up or engage to negotiate an extension. Sounds as if we could end up in court next week.
— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) October 19, 2019
"I'm thankful that the House has voted the way it has done" says the SNP's Ian Blackford
"You'll find yourself in court" he says to Boris Johnson, if he does not follow the Benn Act in seeking an Article 50 extension
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) October 19, 2019
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