Brexit: Johnson will not obstruct text asking for postponement
Thursday, 05 September 2019
Boris Johnson hopes to come out from the 12 December election with a strong enough mandate to push through his withdrawal agreement. Credit: Belga.
After losing his majority and failing to call early elections, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed on Thursday not to obstruct the text calling for a postponement of Brexit.
The proposal was passed by MEPs on Wednesday.
Opponents to a “no-deal” Brexit feared that Johnson and his allies at the House of Lords would attempt to slow the advancement of the text by dragging out the proceedings. But time was running out with the Prime Minister’s surprise decision to suspend Parliament until mid-October, just two weeks before the Brexit deadline, leaving little time for the opponents to a “no deal” to legislate in order to prevent such a scenario. Any extension request must still be approved unanimously by the 27 other EU Member States.
Determined to get the UK out of the EU as scheduled on 31 October, with or without the European Union’s agreement, but seeing his strategy derail, Johnson presented a motion on Wednesday calling for early parliamentary elections on 15 October.
He hoped to obtain a new stronger majority and have complete leeway before the summit between heads of state and of government scheduled on 17 and 18 October in Brussels.
The government motion, however, received only 298 votes, less than the House of Commons’ two-thirds majority required to be passed, the Labour Party having abstained.