MPs derail Boris Johnson's Brexit plan after rejecting bid to push through Withdrawal Agreement

·Data and Politics News Editor, Yahoo News UK

MPs have derailed Boris Johnson's plan to deliver Brexit by 31 October after voting against his plan to ram the bill through the Commons in three days.

The result is a huge blow for the PM, who is now expected to be unable to deliver on his promise to deliver Brexit on 31 October “do or die”.

It came just minutes after MPs voted in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal - the first time MPs have supported any form of agreement.

However, the subsequent defeat means Mr Johnson has said he will now “pause” the Withdrawal Agreement Bill until the EU reaches a decision on delaying Brexit.

He also doubled down on his commitment to deliver Brexit with his deal - but made no mention of Halloween deadline.

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen at the House of Commons in London, Britain October 22, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party overwhelmingly rejected the Prime Minister's sped-up timetable to ram through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Jeremy Corbyn called on Mr Johnson to work with Labour to agree a timetable for the bill.

He said: “The Prime Minister is the author of his own misfortune. So I make this offer to him tonight.

“Work with us, all of us to agree a reasonable timetable, and I suspect this House will vote to debate, scrutinise and, I hope, commend the detail of this Bill. That would be the sensible way forward, and that is the offer I make on behalf of the opposition tonight.”

The SNP’s Ian Blackford called the result “humiliating” for the PM.

A rare Boris Johnson victory

On Tuesday evening the Government won the vote giving approval to the new deal agreed with the EU by 329 votes to 299 - the second time Boris Johnson has won a vote during his premiership.

The result of the House of Commons vote on the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
The result of the House of Commons vote on the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

It is the first time MPs have had their say on the deal after a vote on Saturday was pulled by the Government, and the first time they have voted in favour of a Brexit deal after rejecting Theresa May’s agreement three times.

19 Labour MPs rebelled to support the deal - but made it clear they would consider withdrawing their support in the future.

While the result is a win of sorts, MPs then rejected the Government’s accelerated timetable to hurry the legislation through Parliament in order to stick to the PM’s 31 October “do or die” deadline to leave the EU.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on, with arms crossed, next to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay ahead of a vote on the prime minister's renegotiated Brexit deal, on what has been dubbed "Super Saturday", in the House of Commons in London, Britain October 19, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
Boris Johnson has proposed an accelerated timetable to rush his Brexit deal through Parliament (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Many voiced concerns that the three-day debate will not provide an opportunity for proper scrutiny of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

The Prime Minister threatened to pull his Brexit deal and call for an early general election if MPs rejected the timescale he proposed.

“If Parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen, and instead gets its way and decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer, in no circumstances can the Government continue with this,” he said.

“And with great regret I must say that the Bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a general election.”

Jeremy Corbyn accused the PM of “trying to blindside” Parliament with a “disgraceful attempt to dodge accountability, scrutiny, and any kind of proper debate”.

Exiting the European Union Secretary (Brexit) Stephen Barclay responds to an Urgent Question from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons, London on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) and extension letter. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of trying to dodge scrutiny. (House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)

The PM requested a Brexit delay on Saturday, despite saying repeatedly he would never do so, after MPs voted to withhold their approval for his Brexit plan.

Mr Johnson sent the letter requesting a delay alongside another letter to the EU urging them to reject it.

Donald Tusk gave some reassurance to MPs that a requested extension to Article 50 would be treated with “all seriousness” as he consults with EU leaders who could block the move.

“It is obvious that the result of these consultations will very much depend on what the British Parliament decides, or doesn’t decide,” the European Council president said.

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