Brexit: John Major, 3 others join United Kingdom court case

Brexit: John Major, 3 others join United Kingdom court case

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost his wafer-thin Commons majority after the MP Phillip Lee defected from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats.

The battle over Brexit may reach a crescendo this week, with Johnson's implicit warning on Monday that he would seek an election if MPs tied his hands on Brexit effectively ruling out the possibility of a further delay to the UK's departure from the European Union, its largest trading partner.

Mr Johnson has vowed the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on October 31 regardless of it having a divorce deal or not.

A cross-party group of lawmakers is arguing in a Scottish court that Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for part of the period before the Brexit deadline should be overturned.

A no-deal Brexit is considered risky because it will sever decades of seamless trade with Europe's single market of 500 million people.

"To these rebels in his own party, he said, effectively, "I'm going to kick you out if you defy me.' And this would effectively end their careers", NPR's Frank Langfitt explained on Morning Edition Tuesday before the day's tumult in the House of Commons".

"I simply do not see the Conservative party surviving in its current form if we continue behaving like this towards each other".

Johnson took office in July promising to deliver on the 2016 referendum vote for Brexit, and take Britain out of the European Union on Oct 31 no matter what.

The government's numbers could shrink even further if it dismisses MPs that vote against it later on Tuesday.

They will seek first to take control of the parliamentary agenda to make time on Wednesday to debate a bill that could see Brexit delayed to Jan 31, 2020, if no deal is agreed.

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They have even drafted the letter Johnson is supposed to present to EU Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels.

Former finance minister Philip Hammond is among those who have joined with Labour to draw up legislation that could force the delay.

In a defiant statement in Downing Street on Monday evening, Johnson refused to change course.

Mr Johnson has said the chances of striking a deal have grown since the G7 summit last month but his opponents say there are no negotiations with Brussels and the most likely scenario is a no-deal Brexit.

His aides had already warned that defeat would force him to call a snap election ahead of a crucial European Union summit on October 17-18 - and a mere fortnight before Brexit.

Mr Johnson insisted in his address to the nation that he was not seeking to disband parliament.

But his aides later made clear that a national poll was being pencilled in for 14 October if parliament managed to seize the initiative on Tuesday.

Parliament returned to session for the first time since the prime minister moved to suspend the lawmaking body, beginning around September 9 and leaving it in recess until October 14 - or for more than half the weeks remaining before Johnson's deadline.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told parliament that Johnson's was a government with "no mandate, no morals and, as of today, no majority".

Rebels within Johnson's own party are threatening to force the government to seek a further extension of the October 31 Brexit deadline.

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