British lawmakers vote to block no-deal Brexit amid election haggling

British lawmakers vote to block no-deal Brexit amid election haggling

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday suffered another parliamentary blow over Brexit as MPs have backed a bill to block a no-deal Brexit, which could trigger a snap general election next month.

MPs are now debating amendments to the bill - put forward by MPs but chosen by the Speaker - ahead of another vote on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson said Parliament is "on the brink of wrecking any deal" with Brussels after voting to give the cross-party alliance control of the Commons. Party stalwarts Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill's grandson, were also dismissed.

Mr Johnson dubbed it a "surrender bill" that would "cut his legs off" for negotiations on a new deal, minus the controversial backstop.

Mr. Johnson, who has vowed to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31 with or without a deal in place, is now pushing for a snap election.

A Downing Street spokesman said the PM will not resign to force the country to head to the polls if the Government loses the Commons vote, telling a Westminster briefing: "He's not going to step down". To say you want a deal is quite different from saying you want a deal that isn't achievable.

Many lawmakers, including several in Johnson's Conservative party, are concerned that crashing out without a deal would be disastrous for Britain's economy and lead to medicine, food and fuel shortages.

When Johnson became prime minister, Conservative support rose, largely at the expense of Farage's Brexit Party.

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Amélie de Montchalin, the Europe minister, said President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders had asked Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in Biarritz "to tell us very concretely if there are things he doesn't like in the negotiations previously conducted".

Johnson responded with swift vengeance, expelling the rebels from the Conservatives in Parliament, leaving them as independent lawmakers. Two-thirds must back Johnson's call for an election for it to happen.

The second problem the prime minister faces is that anti-Brexit or soft Brexit MPs can legitimately argue that a no-deal Brexit was never mentioned during the 2016 referendum campaign.

After the final vote on the Remainers bill, MPs will debate and vote on whether to have an early general election.

On the BBC after the vote, Soames sounded as stoic as his grandfather: "That's fortunes of war", he said. "I knew what I was doing, but I just believe that they are not playing straight with us".

Johnson, who was a leader of the 2016 campaign to leave the European Union, has long said that his enthusiasm and energy for Brexit will allow him to succeed in leaving the European Union where May had failed, leading to her resignation. Overall, a total of no fewer than 21 MPs from the ruling Conservatives rebelled against their own government by voting with the opposition; a resolution to take control of the parliamentary agenda in order to force through the legislation passed by a majority of 328 against 301 MPs.

Labour Party officials also said they need a guarantee that the election would be held before October 31, to prevent a no deal Brexit from happening by default on that day.

"There's a lot of MPs who are looking to see where the sense in British politics can come from, where we can really stop the chaos that is Brexit, and fight for a much better future for our country that people do not see under Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn".

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