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Johnson calls for election as government defeated again

A bill to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019 has been passed by MPs in the Commons and now moves onto the House of Lords.

327 voted in favour of the bill, with 299 voting against it - a majority of 28 in favour.

Hillary Benn said the Commons "has spoken" and that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should now "uphold the law and fulfil the obligations placed upon him by this bill" and delay Brexit to avoid no-deal.

In response to the vote result, the Prime Minister said the bill "effectively ends negotiations" and "hands control" to the EU and was "designed to overturn the biggest democratic vote in our history".

Ken Clarke, a former minister who had the Conservative party whip removed over his vote against the government on Tuesday, told Boris Johnson "Stop treating all this as a game and use this time to get a serious resolution of these impossible problems."

The Prime Minister has now called for an election on Tuesday 15 October, saying the house had left 'no other option'. Mr Johnson said "In my view, and in the view of this government, there must now be an election on Tuesday 15 October."

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said "Let this bill (to block a no deal) pass and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out."

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has also confirmed his party will vote against the motion for an election, saying he cannot trust Mr Johnson not to move the election date until after 31 October in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

In order to call an early general election under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the government will need to win the votes of 2/3 of MPs, something that currently appears to be unlikely. 

Photo Credit: Chatham House via Flickr under licence (CC BY 2.0)

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