British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a major setback on Saturday as the country’s parliament voted to delay the Brexit ahead of the October 31 deadline. Lawmakers voted by 322 to 306 in favor of an amendment that obliges the British government to request an extension from Brussels .

Prime Minister Johnson remained defiant in face of the vote, vowing to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union when the deadline expire on October 31. “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so,” Johnson told the House.

Following today’s vote, the government moved the vote on Prime Minister’s Brexit deal to Monday, rather than Saturday as planned. On Thursday, Johnson had announced the details of an agreement he reached with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of a summit in Brussels.

UK newspaper Independent reported today’s parliamentary proceedings:

MPs have voted to withhold approval for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in a spectacular setback to his plans to take the UK out of the European Union.

But the prime minister immediately told the House of Commons that he will not negotiate an extension of Brexit negotiations beyond his 31 October deadline, despite a law requiring him to do so.

His defiant message sparked warnings that he will face court action on Monday.

In dramatic scenes in the House of Commons, an amendment delaying a meaningful vote on the prime minister’s EU withdrawal deal was passed by a margin of 322 votes to 306, to deafening cheers from thousands of second referendum supporters at the Together for the Final Say rally outside in Parliament Square. (…)

The vote means Mr Johnson cannot secure parliamentary approval his deal by the end of 19 October and is required by the terms of the so-called Benn Act to write to Brussels to ask for an extension to the end of January 2020.

UK opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn used the parliament’s proceedings to call for a second referendum on the country’s membership in the EU. “Voting for a deal today won’t end Brexit. It won’t deliver certainty and the people should have the final say,” Corbyn told the Lower House.

Corbyn’s sentiments were echoed by the pro-EU activists outside the parliament. Thousands of Remain supporters took to the streets of London on Saturday to demand a fresh EU referendum. EU supporters, backed by the mainstream media, have been calling for a second vote ever since they lost the referendum three years ago.

Following today’s vote, chief Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage called for the parliament to be dismissed and country to hold a new election. “A Remain Parliament and a Leave country and it’s just the most awful situation. I feel in the absence of a general election, nothing is going to improve.” Farage said on a radio show.

‘I will not negotiate delay with EU’: Johnson tells lawmakers

Today’s vote, however, comes with a silver lining. If the deadlock between the Prime Minister and lawmakers continues, the UK will effectively leave the EU on October 31 without a deal. Many Brexit supporters, including Farage, have welcomed the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit is “the only acceptable deal,” Farage has repeatedly said. Earlier this month, Johnson assured that the UK government was ‘ready’ for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, if the negotiations with Brussels were to fail.

MPs vote down Brexit deal, seek delay

[Cover image via YouTube]


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