UK PM Boris Johnson loses Brexit vote, tables bill for general election
London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday suffered another parliamentary blow over Brexit as MPs backed a bill to block a no-deal Brexit, which led the embattled premier to call for a snap general election on October 15.
Opposition MPs and Tory rebels ensured the bill to prevent Britain leaving the EU without a deal in place passed its first stage of reading by 329 votes to 300 and then its final stage by 327 and 299 votes.
It meant Johnson would be forced to ask for the EU for extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline if a so-called divorce pact is not in place by mid-October.
Johnson had already warned that he would rather push for an immediate vote on an early general election for October 15 if the "surrender bill" cleared all the Commons stages.
"I don't want an election, the public don't want an election but this House has left no other option than letting the public decide who they want as Prime Minister," said Johnson, as he tabled the bill for an "early general election".
That motion will now go into debate and then be voted on later on Wednesday night.
The Brexit vote that he lost earlier was on the second reading - the parliamentary stage which examines the main principles of the bill - and was the first chance for MPs to show whether they supported the bill. MPs then began debating amendments to the bill - put forward by MPs but chosen by the Speaker - ahead of a third and final vote.
After his third bruising parliamentary defeat on Brexit since Tuesday, Johnson proceeded to call for an election.
His motion would need the backing of two-thirds of the UK's 650 MPs to be passed and so far looks uncertain as the Opposition Labour Party has indicated that it would not vote in favour of Johnson's election timetable. PTI