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UK parliament approves bill to stop 'no-deal' Brexit

Sep '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The upper house of British parliament on September 6 approved a bill that would force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit. The draft seeks to postpone Brexit beyond the October 31 deadline if Johnson does not manage to strike a divorce deal with the European Union (EU) next month. It now requires formal assent by Queen Elizabeth II to become a law.

Johnson, who is making great efforts to call an early election that could give him a mandate to take the United Kingdom out of the EU with or without a deal, has said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than ask for a delay. He has termed the bill a ‘surrender’ that would allow the other 27 EU leaders to dictate the terms, according to a news agency report.

The London high court recently rejected a legal challenge against his decision to suspend parliament from next week, but granted permission for the case to go to the supreme court for an appeal scheduled for September 17.

He sacked 21 rebels in the Conservative Party who voted for the legislation in the House of Commons, leaving him without a working majority in parliament.

Johnson's opponents are now widely expected to block for the second time Monday his attempt to schedule snap polls for October 15.

The main opposition Labour Party is planning a strategy with smaller groups that could leave Johnson with no other alternative but to resign. It was reportedly negotiating with the pro-EU Scottish National Party (SNP) and smaller groups about their preferred date for the imminent election.

Labour foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said lawmakers did not trust ‘this prime minister, who is as slippery as can be’. (DS)

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September 2019

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