British Parliament blocks Johnson’s government from holding vote on Brexit deal

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

The Speaker of the British Parliament’s main House has prevented Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government from holding a vote on its agreement for Britain to leave the European Union.

Speaker John Bercow says the government was trying to present a motion that is “in substance the same’’ as the one lawmakers considered on Saturday.

“My ruling is therefore that the matter will not be debated again today,’’ Bercow says.

Mr Johnson’s faces potentially perilous ratification of his Brexit divorce deal in the British parliament after the speaker refused to allow a vote on it on Monday.

With just 10 days left until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on October 31, the divorce is again in disarray as Britain’s politicians argue over whether to leave with a deal, exit without a deal or hold another referendum.

Mr Bercow said a vote should not be allowed on Monday as the same issue had been discussed on Saturday when opponents turned Mr Johnson’s big Brexit day into a humiliation.

“In summary, today’s motion is in substance the same as Saturday’s motion and the House of Commons has decided the matter.

“Today’s circumstances are in substance the same as Saturday’s circumstances,’’ Mr Bercow told parliament.

“My ruling is, therefore, that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.’’

The decision by the speaker means that the government will have to try to push on with the legislation needed for ratification that opponents are plotting to wreck with amendments that would destroy Johnson’s deal.

Mr Johnson was ambushed in parliament on Saturday by opponents who demanded a change to the sequencing of the ratification of the deal, exposing the prime minister to a law which forced him to request a delay until Jan. 31.

Mr Johnson sent the note to the EU unsigned and added another signed letter arguing against what he said was a deeply corrosive delay.

The EU has accepted the first letter as valid but not yet given a final response on an extension.

It is preparing the steps needed to ratify the deal in the European Parliament, however.

The British government insists the country will leave the EU on October 31.

Parliament will vote in the second reading on legislation known as the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Tuesday after which amendments can be proposed to it.


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