UK PM Boris Johnson suffers another Parliament blow over Brexit


Facing a growing rebellion in his Conservative Party, and opposition leaders emboldened by their newfound leverage, Johnson is in danger of seeing his bold moves to realize an October 31 Brexit fall into the same quagmire that sunk his predecessor, Theresa May. He will again try to quell the rebellion against him and make the case for a swift and certain Brexit, a pledge upon which he has bet his job.

"I don't want an election", he shouted in the noisy, restless parliamentary chamber, "but that would be the only way to resolve this", he added.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the negotiations Johnson talked about "are a sham - all he's doing is running down the clock".

Then in the evening parliament voted to take temporary control of the order of business of the House (the usual pattern is that the government is in charge of the legislative timetable) in order to pass legislation to stop the prospect of crashing out of the European Union without agreement on 31 October.

The geographical distribution of the vote, and the extent to which votes divide between rival parties, determine the balance within parliament.

Johnson, too, is relentlessly divisive and scornful of the half of the country that disagrees with him, his leadership campaign minimised his uncontrolled media appearances and he is reliant on Downing Street advisers who are abrasive and unpopular among his colleagues. Many are anti-Brexit, while others are angry at the prime minister for pushing the no-deal option and over his plan to shutter Parliament for five weeks leading up to the October 31 deadline.

He said it would force him to "surrender" to the European Union, adding: "I refuse to do this and it is clear there is only one way forward for the country".

After his defeat Tuesday night, Johnson introduced legislation setting the stage for an election.

The contentious vote in the House of Commons came after Johnson moved to suspend Parliament for several weeks leading up to the October 31 deadline. Two-thirds must back Johnson's call for an election for it to happen.

Menon was speaking to Euronews outside the House of Commons, where protesters on both sides of the Brexit debate have been airing their views and highlighting the divisions present in the country since the 201'6 referendum.

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After the Conservative defections, the party now has 289 members of Parliament.

The second largest opposition force, the Scottish National Party (SNP), wants to use its leverage to increase the chances of Scottish independence.

"Tonight we defeated Boris Johnson in his first Commons test and tomorrow we will legislate against his disastrous No Deal plans", Corbyn tweeted Tuesday. "So it's not plain sailing for Boris Johnson", he said.

"I think it is a shame - a lot of them are very talented people".

"There's a real problem with Johnson, and it's a problem Theresa May didn't have", Starmer said on Sky News.

There is ample reason not to trust the Johnson regime with timing and conducting an election. He leads a government with no majority in Parliament and may not be able to secure an election that could change that fact. "This is his central problem".

A judge is due to issue a ruling on the decision later on Wednesday in one of three ongoing legal challenges. "So Northern Ireland and Scotland are serious problems in that calculation", he explained.

Johnson responded with swift vengeance, expelling the rebels from the Tory group in Parliament, leaving them as independent lawmakers. He hopes to replace them with candidates more loyal to him. Party stalwarts Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill's grandson, were also dismissed. Soames called his expulsion "the fortunes of war". At the time, he was receiving an award for "politician of the year".

"I am truly very sad that it should end in this way", he said. Conservative MP Philip Lee dramatically defected to the Liberal Democrats while Johnson was addressing Parliament. He explained in a statement that Johnson's party had become "infected with the twin diseases of populism and English nationalism". But it is unclear whether he will have the votes for such a move.