Cyprus Mail
Brexit

Johnson defiant after British parliament votes to force Brexit delay (Update 5)

Speaker John Bercow announces the result of the vote on the deal delay at the House of Commons

A defiant Boris Johnson said he would not negotiate a further delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union after parliament voted on Saturday to postpone a vote on his Brexit deal.

Parliament voted 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment put forward by Oliver Letwin, a former Conservative cabinet minister.

According to legislation passed earlier, the vote means Johnson is obliged to write to the European Union seeking a delay beyond Britain’s scheduled departure date of Oct. 31.

But Johnson has repeatedly vowed he will not do this and on Saturday he stuck to that line.

“I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so,” Johnson told parliament.

“I will tell our friends and colleagues in the EU exactly what I have told everyone else in the last 88 days that I have served as prime minister: that further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy.”

The vote however means the government will not hold a vote on its Brexit deal on Saturday as planned. Johnson said he would put it to a vote on Tuesday.

Letwin’s amendment proposed that a decision on whether to back a Brexit deal be deferred until all the legislation needed to implement it has been passed through parliament.

Even though Johnson believes this can be achieved by Oct. 31, others think it would need a short ‘technical’ delay in Britain’s departure from the EU.

A law passed by Johnson’s opponents obliges him to ask the EU for a Brexit delay until Jan. 31, 2020 if he could not secure approval for his deal by the end of Saturday.

“My aim is to ensure that Boris’s deal succeeds,” Letwin said earlier. But he wanted “an insurance policy which prevents the UK from crashing out on 31 October by mistake if something goes wrong during the passage of the implementing legislation”.

Three years after Britain voted 52-48% to leave the European project, Johnson struck a divorce deal with the bloc in Brussels on Thursday.

Related posts

Trump ex-adviser calls Ukraine election interference theory ‘fictional narrative’ (Update 2)

Reuters News Service

Akel says it wants no whitewash of ‘spy van’ affair

George Psyllides

‘One in four’ in Europe hold anti-Semitic beliefs, survey finds

Press Association

Trump says he will release ‘financial statement’ before 2020 vote

Reuters News Service

Labour unveils ‘radical and ambitious’ plan to remake Britain

Reuters News Service

MPs say man chosen to save the mountain villages stands to gain personally

George Psyllides