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Boris Johnson has suffered a humbling double defeat, as MPs backed laws to cease Britain leaving the EU with out a deal after which blocked the prime minister’s try and name an election to regain the initiative on Brexit.
Mr Johnson, going through rising anger from Tory MPs over his dealing with of Brexit, endured two defeats inside two hours on Wednesday evening, leaving him, in impact, trapped in 10 Downing Avenue by a hostile parliament.
First, Tory insurgent MPs joined forces with opposition events to approve a Brexit delay invoice, geared toward blocking a no-deal exit on the finish of October, by 327 votes to 299. The Home of Lords agreed not lengthy after midnight to push by the laws by Friday, suggesting friends would cooperate and approve the invoice in order that it might return to the decrease home and be given royal assent earlier than parliament is prorogued subsequent week.
Mr Johnson mentioned the invoice represented “give up” since it will permit the EU to set the phrases for any delay to Brexit. He claimed Britain might be held in a Brexit limbo “for a few years to return”.
The prime minister instantly tabled a measure to carry a common election on October 15, claiming it will permit the general public to resolve whether or not he or Jeremy Corbyn, Labour chief, would conclude Brexit negotiations.
Below the Mounted Time period Parliaments act Mr Johnson wanted two-thirds of MPs to again the movement — a threshold of 434 — to safe an election. However the try and set off an election secured solely 298 votes in favour, with 56 in opposition to.
Opposition leaders, together with Mr Corbyn, mentioned they’d not conform to an early election till the laws to cease a no-deal exit on October 31 was in place. Labour abstained on the vote.
Mr Johnson accused Mr Corbyn of being “rooster” however the Labour chief mentioned the supply of a common election was like “the apple to Snow White from the depraved queen . . . he’s providing the poison of a no deal”.
One Tory MP mentioned Mr Johnson was now being “held hostage” in Quantity 10. The prime minister’s advisers imagine Mr Corbyn will conform to an election subsequent week, as soon as the anti-no deal laws is on the statute e book.
Wednesday, four September, 2019
In the meantime, Mr Johnson, who on Tuesday purged 21 Conservative MPs who voted in opposition to the federal government in one other Brexit vote, was urged by moderates in his occasion’s 100-strong “one nation” Tory group to reinstate the rebels.
It additionally emerged that Mr Johnson was confronted by cupboard ministers led by Michael Gove, Cupboard Workplace secretary, who urged the prime minister to discover a approach to overturn his expulsion of the 21 MPs. Different ministers who spoke out on the assembly on Tuesday included Amber Rudd and Matt Hancock.
Damian Inexperienced, a former deputy prime minister, demanded in a letter to Mr Johnson that the MPs be restored to the Tory whip. The one-nation group counts Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan, each cupboard ministers, amongst its supporters.
“We’ve obtained to convey them again if we wish to win the approaching election,” mentioned one minister.
Jeremy Corbyn retorted that Boris Johnson’s supply of an election was just like the depraved queen providing the poisoned apple to Snow White © by way of REUTERS
MPs Edward Leigh and Tobias Ellwood criticised Mr Johnson for his remedy of the rebels, who included former chancellors Mr Clarke and Philip Hammond, at a bad-tempered assembly of Tory MPs.
“There was an inference from the prime minister that there might be a manner again for a few of them earlier than the final election,” mentioned one attendee.
Mark Spencer, the chief whip, tried to calm the anger in Tory ranks by telling MPs that when, or if, Mr Johnson secured a Brexit deal in Brussels, he would take equally robust motion in opposition to any hardcore Eurosceptics who voted in opposition to it.
In an indication that Mr Johnson desires to attract a line underneath the Tory bloodletting, he didn’t take the whip from Caroline Spelman, a former minister who joined the checklist of rebels on Wednesday by voting for anti-no deal laws.
Earlier than the laws can obtain royal assent it’s anticipated to have a tough journey within the Lords, the place Eurosceptic Tory friends are planning to make use of guerrilla ways to attempt to cease it turning into regulation.
Tory friends have tabled about 100 amendments in a transfer that might pressure the Lords to take a seat by the evening.
Elsewhere, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, informed EU27 ambassadors in Brussels that talks with the British authorities had been “in a state of paralysis”.
His evaluation got here after David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, supplied no recent concepts to interchange the Irish backstop throughout talks in Brussels, in line with officers.
Mr Johnson’s authorities has raised additional alarm in EU capitals by making it clear the UK is not going to adhere to guarantees made by Theresa Might to keep up “degree taking part in subject” requirements in areas similar to social and environmental coverage.