British MPs on Saturday voted to delay a decision on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, arguing they needed more time to study its contents before an October 31 deadline.
Lawmakers backed an amendment which effectively forces Johnson to ask Brussels for an extension until January next year, while they scrutinised the proposed domestic legislation to enforce the deal.
Johnson was defiant in responding to the result, despite conceding that the so-called ‘meaningful vote’ on his divorce agreement with Brussels ‘has been voided of meaning’.
But he added: ‘The best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31.’
‘I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so,’ he said.
Johnson earlier argued that further delay -- more than three years after the landmark 2016 referendum to leave the bloc -- would be ‘pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive’.
MPs could still meet the October 31 deadline when the government introduces its formal withdrawal agreement bill in parliament next week.
In opting to back a delay, they are seeking to ensure they do not run out of time debating it and deliver by accident the no-deal Brexit they oppose.
Separate legislation passed last month requires Johnson to write to the EU requesting an extension if a deal has not been passed by October 19.
Johnson has said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than ask for more time, but has also promised to obey the law.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Tensions flare over virus-hit Italian ‘ghetto’
Kosovo’s Thaci accuses international justice of rewriting history
Six injured in Glasgow stabbing, suspect killed
Teenager who threw French boy from London art gallery roof jailed for 15 years
Three killed in stabbing attack in Scottish city of Glasgow
France announces ‘large scale’ virus testing campaign
Russians start early voting on reforms
Test and trace system fails to contain virus
Kosovo’s Thaci charged with war crimes for 1990s killings