The British Parliament has rejected for the second time PM Boris Johnson’s bid to call early elections before a crucial EU summit in October, dealing yet another blow to the Brexit-pushing UK leader.
Johnson did not succeed in his second attempt to force early general elections Monday evening, having failed to pass a two-thirds threshold needed to secure the poll.
MPs voted 293 in favor and 46 against the proposal after a fiery debate.
Upon suffering another defeat in the Commons, Johnson said he would not give up on his quest to secure a better divorce deal with the UK, “no matter how many devices this parliament invents to tie my hands.” However, he did not rule out that the UK may ultimately crash out of the block without a deal, the much-feared scenario the opposition has been up in arms about.
“This government will press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one.”
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said that while he was “eager” to hold the snap elections, Johnson would first have to take the no-deal Brexit option off the table, something that the PM has so far adamantly refused to do.
“We’re eager for an election. But as keen as we are, we are not prepared to risk inflicting the disaster of no-deal on our communities.”
Tearing into Johnson, Corbyn argued that the PM is intent on “shutting down the parliament to avoid any scrutiny” accusing him of “shutting down democracy” in the process.
Ian Blackford, Scottish National Party (SNP)’s leader in Westminster, chimed in that while the SNP also wants an election, it would not let itself be “tricked” by Johnson.
“The matter is simple: We want an election, but not on Prime Minister’s terms.”
In his speech before the vote Johnson insisted that an election is “the only way to break the deadlock in the House [of Commons]” and to give the next prime minister “the strongest possible mandate to negotiate for our country at next month’s European council.” Johnson agreed to go to Brussels, but said he would not ask for another delay to Brexit.
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