MPs defeat Government in bid to block no-deal Brexit – Boris Johnson to table vote on early general election

MPs have defeated the Government in a crunch vote on Brexit which could block the Prime Minister from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal next month.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 2:58 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons, London after MPs voted in favour of allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31.PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons, London after MPs voted in favour of allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31.PA Wire

Tory rebels defied the whip to join opposition MPs in supporting a bid to take control of the Commons agenda and pass legislation which would prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

MPs voted by 328 votes to 301, a majority of 27.

The move would require the Prime Minister to seek a delay to Brexit until January 31 2020 if no agreement has been reached, and MPs have not approved a no-deal withdrawal.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

MPs announce the result of a vote for allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31. PA Wire

Commons Speaker John Bercow gave the green light for the cross-party alliance to launch their attempt on Tuesday to seize control of the House's business for the following day.

Boris Johnson earlier signalled he would try to call a snap general election if he was defeated, and has said the legislation would "destroy any chance" of negotiating an agreement.

It came after Mr Johnson's working majority in the Commons was wiped out when former minister Phillip Lee dramatically defected to the Liberal Democrats.

After the Government's defeat, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will be tabling a vote on an early general election on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons, London after MPs voted in favour of allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31. PA Wire

He said: "The consequences of this vote tonight means that Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal that we might be able to get in Brussels.

"It will hand control of the negotiations to the EU."

Mr Johnson continued: "And by contrast, everyone will know that if I am Prime Minister, I will go to Brussels, I will go for a deal and I believe I will get a deal.

"And we will leave anyway, even if we don't (get a deal) we will leave anyway on October 31.

"The people of this country will have to choose.

"The leader of the opposition (Jeremy Corbyn) has been begging for an election for two years.

"He has thousands of supporters outside calling for an election. I don't want an election but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and to compel another pointless delay to Brexit potentially for years then that would be the only way to resolve this.

"I can confirm that we are tonight tabling a motion under the Fixed Term Parliament Act."

Mr Corbyn has said it is fine for Mr Johnson to table a motion for a general election, but that no-deal must be removed as an option first.

Mr Corbyn said the Government must "get the Bill through first in order to take no-deal off the table".

He added: "We do not have a presidency, we have a Prime Minister who governs with the consensus of the House of Commons representing the people within whom the sovereignty rests."

The Labour leader said that there is no consent to leave the EU without a deal, saying: "There is no majority to leave without a deal within the country".

Mr Corbyn called on Mr Johnson to put his Brexit plan to the people, if he has one.