British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s second attempt to call for snap elections next month was rejected by parliamentarians on Monday night, BBC reported. Johnson wanted to hold the snap election on October 15, two weeks before the country is scheduled to leave the European Union.
Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led the efforts to block Johnson’s call for elections, CNN reported. He said: “I want an election, we’re eager for an election, but as keen as we are we, we are not prepared to inflict the disaster of a no-deal [Brexit] on our communities, our jobs, our services, or indeed our rights.”
A bill stopping a no-deal Brexit became law on Monday. It mandated Johnson to seek a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline of October 31 unless Parliament approves a Brexit deal or agrees to leave the European Union without one by October 19. Johnson had earlier said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than request such an extension. The bill prompted him to ask for an election next month.
There are now questions about whether Johnson will obey this law. After losing the vote, Johnson said his government will continue to negotiate a deal but will prepare to leave the European Union without one. “This government will not delay Brexit any further,” he said, according to Al Jazeera. “We will not allow the emphatic verdict of the [2016 Brexit referendum] referendum to be slowly suffocated by calculated paralysis.”
The vote came ahead of the suspension of Parliament for five weeks. The prime minister ordered the shutdown in an apparent move to stop a cross-party group of MPs opposed to a possible no-deal Brexit. Opposition parties want to ensure that an election does not allow Johnson to lead the United Kingdom out of the EU without a deal.
Shutting down Parliament, known as prorogation, had stirred up a controversy with critics saying that it would stop MPs from taking part in the Brexit process. Several high profile figures, including former Prime Minister John Major, had threatened to take legal recourse.
In the past week, Johnson lost majority in Parliament, expelled 21 rebel MPs from the Conservative party, including Winston Churchill’s grandson and a former finance minister, and saw his brother Jo Johnson quit the government.
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