Crippling Double Blow For PM Johnson As Tory Rebels Join Hands With Opposition To Prevent No-Deal Brexit, Early Polls

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Arno Mikkor/Flickr)

In a crippling double blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British House of Commons on Wednesday (4 September) blocked a no deal Brexit bill and also thwarted the Prime Minister’s attempt to call snap polls to regain the initiative on Brexit, The Financial Times reported.

Dissident Tory members of parliament joined forces with the opposition to approve a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal exit. MP's voted 327 to 299 in favour of the bill.

If the bill gets passed in the upper house, Johnson will be forced to request European Union for a three-month extension of the 31 October deadline in the event of two sides failing to clinch a deal by 19 October.

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Johnson has repeatedly vowed that he will not ask the EU for an extension but will keep Brexit on track for its 31 October deadline despite the lack of an agreement.

Johnson said the bill represented “surrender” since it would weaken his negotiating position and allow the EU to set the terms for any delay in Brexit.

In another setback, the house also rejected a measure introduced by Johnson to hold a general election on 15 October.

Johnson argued that the public should decide whether he or Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, would conclude Brexit negotiations. The move required the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons. But the attempt to precipitate a premature poll secured only 298 votes in favour, with 56 against.

Acting swiftly against the rebels,  Johnson booted 21 Tory members out of his party for previously voting against a no-deal Brexit.

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