Brexit: Protests in Cardiff over Parliament shutdown

Brexit: Protests in Cardiff over Parliament shutdown”

Boris Johnson loses a key vote allowing opposition MPs to take control of the Parliamentary agenda.

However, Johnson is opposed to delaying the exit date.

If MPs agree on Tuesday to allow the cross-party group to seize control of the parliamentary business, the legislation will be considered on Wednesday.

If it passes this week, Johnson's Downing Street office said he'll call an early election - taking his argument directly to the people for a third general election in four years.

"Five weeks ago, I spoke to you from these steps and said that this government was not going to hang around and that we would not wait until Brexit Day, Oct. 31, to deliver on the priorities of the British people,"Johnson said in a statement from Downing Street on Monday". "I don't want an election".

Johnson insists his threat to leave the European Union without a deal will ultimately force the bloc to sign up to new terms to ease the end of Britain's 46-year membership of the bloc.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson must get the Brexit delay bill that will be discussed on Wednesday passed before trying to call an election.

The Prime Minister suffered an embarrassing blow even before the vote, when Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats right as Johnson was addressing the House on Tuesday afternoon.

Dr Lee, the MP for Bracknell, took his seat on the opposition benches as the PM addressed the Commons.

A no-deal Brexit is considered unsafe because it will sever decades of seamless trade with the single market of 500 million, but Johnson insists the potential for leaving without a deal must remain as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the EU.

To further exert pressure on Tory rebels, the prime minister is reported to publish his motion later this week calling for an election in six weeks' time, so that they can be in no doubt what will happen if they vote against the government on Tuesday night. Johnson has threatened these "rebel MPs" with expulsion from the Conservative party if they do try and stand in his way.

One of them, former treasury chief Philip Hammond, said he believed that between opposition lawmakers and rebel Conservatives, they have the numbers to vote for a delay to the Brexit deadline.

Explaining his decision, Lee, the member from Bracknell and who had voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, charged the government with "pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways", putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said he was "delighted" that MPs had expressed a "very clear view" in favour of a law to block no deal.

But European officials say the United Kingdom has brought no credible ideas to the table, and they worry that Johnson has an eye on the election and wants to scapegoat the EU.

Johnson has told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel he could come up with a better alternative to the main sticking point in the stalled Brexit negotiations - the deadlock on the Irish border question.

But government minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the move sought to "confound the referendum result" after Britons voted for Brexit in 2016.

A new poll would need the approval of Parliament, but pro-Remain MPs said the priority should be to stop no deal.

Opposition MPs and rebel members of his Conservative party are planning to vote for delaying beyond October 31 if he can not agree exit terms with Brussels.

Ahead of a first vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening, Johnson said: "There are no circumstances in which I will ever accept anything like it".

But his task became even more hard after former minister Phillip Lee dramatically defected to the Liberal Democrats, crossing the floor of the Commons as Mr Johnson delivered a statement to MPs.

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