The Speaker
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 – 21:45

Election and Brexit: Where next?

Many in the UK and also worldwide will be waking up this morning and wondering – what on earth happens next in the UK’s political crisis?

We’d love to give you a simple answer, but unsurprisingly with politics, things are yet again not that easy.

On Wednesday, opposition MPs voted in favour on a bill to stop a no-deal Brexit – 327 voted in favour of the bill, with 299 voting against it – a majority of 28 in favour. That meant that the bill moved onto the House of Lords, where it currently is on Thursday. Bills in UK Parliament have to be pass between both the House of Commons and the House of Lords before they can come into legislation. The process for this bill has been put on fast-forward in order to try and get it into law as soon as possible.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, around 01:30am UK time, the government announced it was withdrawing its opposition to the bill – meaning the bill should now have passed through the House of Lords by 5pm on Thursday.

What about an election? Well the government called for an election on Wednesday evening after losing the vote on the no-deal Brexit bill. It needed 434 MPs to back the call in order to launch the election – however, perhaps for the first time in history, most opposition MPs did not back the call and the government fell way short of the number of MPs needed to vote, with most opposition MPs abstaining (not voting at all).

Boris Johnson has tried to frame the opposition as ‘running scared’ of an election, however, opposition parties insisted they were not backing the call for an election because they could not trust the Prime Minister not to pursue a no-deal Brexit. In particular, Jess Philips MP gave an emotional speech in the Commons in which she said she had ‘no faith’ in anything the Prime Minister said.

What comes next, nobody is too sure, but it would seem likely the Prime Minister will try to call for an election again in the coming days. With a 100% defeat rate in the Commons and no majority, Mr Johnson is running out of other options.

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