Opponents of 'no-deal' Brexit defeat British PM

Opposition and Conservative rebels pass motion allowing them to take control of parliamentary business.

Ben Ariel ,

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

A cross-party alliance defeated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in parliament on Tuesday in a bid to prevent him taking Britain out of the EU without an agreement, Reuters reported.

In response, Johnson announced that he would immediately push for a snap election.

Lawmakers voted by 328 to 301 for a motion put forward by opposition parties and rebel lawmakers in Johnson’s party who had been warned they would be kicked out of the Conservative Party if they defied the government.

The vote allows the opposition and rebels to take control of parliamentary business. They will on Wednesday seek to pass a law forcing Johnson to ask the EU to delay Brexit until January 31 unless he has a deal approved by parliament beforehand on the terms and manner of the exit.

The Conservative rebels who now face expulsion from the party included Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Britain’s World War Two leader Winston Churchill, and two former finance ministers - Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke.

“I don’t want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this,” Johnson told parliament after the vote, as quoted by Reuters.

“I can confirm that we are tonight tabling a motion under the Fixed Term Parliament Act,” he added.

Ahead of the vote, Johnson said would never accept another delay to Brexit beyond October 31.

Johnson’s government will now seek to hold a vote on Wednesday to approve an early election, most likely to be held on October 14. An election would pit Johnson against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

After the vote, Corbyn told Johnson that he must get the Brexit delay bill that will be discussed on Wednesday passed before trying to call an election.