Boris Johnson was dealt a double blow yesterday, with his bid for a general election scuppered by rebel MPs.
To add salt to the wounds, MPs also backed a bill which would block a no-deal Brexit in the event that the Government could not reach an agreement with the EU by October 31.
Johnson said that the bill "scuppered" negotiations with the EU and that the only way forward now was to hold a general election, a prospect that the Labour party are not too keen on.
Without the threat of a no-deal, it is unlikely that the EU will be willing to agree to anything other than the original withdrawal agreement previously negotiated with former PM, Theresa May, leaving the government in a very weak position.
Johnson accused the opposition leader of not only trying to block brexit, but also stopping the British people from having their say by refusing a general election.
Just 298 MPs voted for a snap election, a long way short of the 434 required to get the motion through with opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn ordering MPs from the Labour side to abstain, knowing that if they did, Johnson would be unable to get the majority he would need.
Corbyn accused the PM of "playing a disingenuous game" in an attempt to push through a no-deal Brexit and stated that his party would only back an election after the bill had been passed by the Lords.
This lead the Prime Minister to fiercly criticise the Labour leader, saying he was “the first leader of the opposition in the democratic history of our country to refuse the invitation to an election”.
He argued that getting another extension would "overturn the biggest democratic vote in our history", the 2016 referendum.
The cross-party bill, tabled by Labour’s Hilary Benn is set to pass through the House of Lords on Friday.
If the bill is passed by the Lords, it could be given royal assent by the Queen and become law on Monday 9 September.
If the Queen rubber stamps the new bill and the PM is unable to get a new agreement through, he may have to request yet another Brexit extension.
The news will come as a relief to the majority of British expats who live in Spain who over the last few years have had to live with the threat and uncertainty of a no-deal Brexit.
Image courtesy of Chatham House on Flickr.
January 14, 2021