Brexit rebels seize control after defeating Boris Johnson

Brexit rebels seize control after defeating Boris Johnson”

Tuesday's victory is only the first hurdle for lawmakers, enabling them to take control of the parliamentary business.

Johnson has appointed a government of mainly Brexit supporters, which has positioned the Conservatives as the party of Brexit in the event of an election.

However, he wants to change the terms agreed by his predecessor, Theresa May, which were rejected three times by the British parliament.

On a day of high drama, an Edinburgh court also heard a legal challenge against Johnson's decision to suspend parliament next week for more than a month, which critics said was a bid to silence MPs. Some senior Conservative Party figures, including former Treasury chief Philip Hammond and Winston Churchill's grandson, Nicholas Soames, joined the rebellion and face expulsion from the party after decades of service.

But to trigger an election, Johnson would need the backing of two-thirds of members of parliament, including some opposition legislators.

Johnson has now said he will table a motion to have a general election, to be voted on in Parliament soon. "The people of this country will have to choose".

Outside parliament, anti-Brexit protesters gathered.

The government has said that if it loses a vote on delaying Brexit later on Tuesday it will put forward another vote on Wednesday to hold an early election on October 14.

Aides have previously said that any poll would be held before a crucial European Union summit on October 17 and 18. "If the European Council proposes an extension to a different date then the Prime Minister must accept that extension within two days, unless the House of Commons rejects it". There are many unknowns - for starters, it is not clear whether there might eventually be an alliance between Johnson and the Brexit Party led by euroskeptic Nigel Farage.

Despite a warning that Johnson would seek an election if they tied his hands over Brexit, a bloc of opposition lawmakers and rebels in Johnson's party defied him with what they cast as an effort to stop an economically ruinous no-deal departure.

In a sign of the government's determination, finance minister Sajid Javid will also on Wednesday unveil another £2 billion (2.2 billion euros, $2.4 billion) of funding to deal with Brexit, including for new port infrastructure.

The European Union has no reason to pursue further Brexit talks with Britain, after rebel MPs stripped Boris Johnson of his slender majority in the House of Commons.

The heightened political tension sent the British pound tumbling on Tuesday to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly three years.

Barring an October 2016 flash crash when sterling briefly reached $1.15, sterling has not regularly traded below $1.20 since 1985, according to Refinitiv data.

Fears of a "no-deal" Brexit were rising elsewhere.

The European Commission said such a scenario was a "very distinct possibility" and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was the most likely scenario.

It restated its view that a "no-deal" divorce would hit the British economy much harder than that of the EU.

United Nations economists also on Tuesday warned that Britain could lose at least $16 billion (14.6 billion euros) a year on exports to the European Union if it left without a deal.

"An election is coming, the question is, is that election going to be in October, or November", he told Euronews.

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