British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to defy the Brexit delay bill, London-based newspaper The Telegraph reported. The House of Lords, the unelected Upper House of the UK Parliament, passed a bill on Friday blocking a no-deal Brexit ahead of the October 31 deadline. The bill, expected to be signed into law by the Queen on Monday, aims to force the British government to delay Brexit if it fails to reach a deal with the European Union.

“Boris Johnson set to defy the law rather than ask for Brexit delay,” The Telegraph disclosed late Friday, adding that the “Prime Minister said he ‘will not’ carry out Parliament’s instructions to seek an Article 50 extension if he fails to agree a new deal, adding he was only bound ‘in theory’ by a law passed on Friday.”

The Lords approved the bill two days after the UK Lower House passed a motion to delay the Brexit beyond October 31. The bill in the House of Commons was supported by the members from both the ruling Conservative and the opposition Labour party, winning by 327 votes to 299, a majority of 28.

Prime Minister Johnson has long opposed such delay tactics on the part of the pro-EU lawmakers. “I would rather be dead in a ditch” than agree to an extension of Brexit, he had told reporters ahead of the Friday’s vote in the Upper House.

The Telegraph reported Johnson’s response to the bill passed by the House of Lords:

Boris Johnson would rather defy the law than ask for another Brexit delay, he has indicated, as Labour was accused of plunging Britain into a constitutional crisis.

The Prime Minister said he “will not” carry out Parliament’s instructions to seek an Article 50 extension if he fails to agree a new deal, adding he was only bound “in theory” by a law passed on Friday.

Mr Johnson also ruled out the option of resigning to avoid asking for an extension, saying he would be staying in office to deliver Brexit and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

On Monday the Prime Minister will make a second attempt to win the backing of MPs for an election on Oct 15, in which he would hope to win a fresh mandate for leading the country out of the EU on Oct 31 with or without a deal.

Prime Minister Johnson believes that pro-EU Member of Parliament (MPs) are working behind his back to sabotage Britain’s exit from the European bloc. “There’s a terrible collaboration, as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends,” he said in a televised statement last month.

The British Prime Minister is justified in disregarding the motions passed by lawmakers and in going ahead with the business of delivering on the mandate given by the 2016 EU referendum. By doing the EU’s bidding, the MPs in the elected Lower House are ‘selling out’ the voters they claim to represent, the British magazine Spectator rightly claims. “406 constituencies voted to Leave, 242 to Remain; and nine regions voted to Leave, and just three to Remain” in the referendum, the magazine points out.

Prime Minister Johnson wants a snap election on October 15 to harness the anti-EU sentiment, particularly within his Conservative base. But as things stand today, he lacks the necessary vote on the floor of the parliament to trigger a general election. He will need the support of two-thirds of the MPs to force a snap election. The Prime Minister is expected to make a fresh push for a snap election on Monday despite Labour party’s opposition to the move.

Johnson’s Conservatives face a bigger challenge in their own camp as Tory base migrates en masse to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. The newly-formed anti-EU party emerged as the largest force in the May’s EU election, winning 32 percent of the vote, compared to Conservative party’s measly 9 percent.

Hoping to avoid a disaster in a possible snap election, the Conservative politicians are reaching out to their arch rival Nigel Farage in a bid to hammer out a pre-election deal. “Brexiteer Tories in the European Research Group (ERG) have discussed the possibility of an electoral pact with Nigel Farage,” The Telegraph disclosed in a separate report late Friday.

The news of the Tory outreach comes after Farage vowed to “put country before party” and withdraw all Brexit Party candidates in favor of Tory contestants in a snap election scenario if Johnson sticks to delivering the Brexit. “If Boris Johnson decides that the right thing to do is go for a clean Brexit, then we would stand down” Farage promised last week.


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