British parliament again rejects PM's request for early election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will not request extension to Brexit as parliament rejects his request for early election.

Ben Ariel ,

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

The British parliament on Monday night rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request for an early national election, for the second time in a week.

Only 293 of the 650 House of Commons members backed the proposal, well short of the two-thirds majority Johnson had needed.

Johnson said after the vote that he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a deal.

“This government will press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one,” Johnson told parliament after the result of the vote on an early election, according to the Reuters news agency.

“I will go to that crucial summit on October the 17th and no matter how many devices this parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest ... This government will not delay Brexit any further,” he added.

Johnson appeared to have lost control of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union with the approval of the law, which obliges him to seek a delay unless he can strike a new deal at an EU summit next month.

Last week, the British Parliament voted to delay Brexit. The vote on the bill to delay a no-deal Brexit was made possible after a cross-party alliance defeated Johnson in parliament a day earlier.

The vote allowed the opposition and rebels to take control of parliamentary business and bring to a vote the 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.

EU leaders have repeatedly said they have not received specific proposals ahead of an EU summit on October 17 and 18, at which Johnson hopes he can secure a deal.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the party was eager for an election, but would not support Johnson’s move to hold one until it was certain a delay to Brexit had been secured.

“As keen as we are, we are not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of no-deal on our communities,” Corbyn said, according to Reuters.