Johnson having almost inevitably broken his promise to take Britain out of the EU whatever happened on October 31, appears likely to give up on Parliament and ask the country what's next at a general election.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has achieved something many thought impossible. After three years Britain’s House of Commons voted to support Brexit – leaving the European Union (EU).
The Brexit agreement that Johnson engineered against all odds in Brussels late last week was passed by 329 votes to 299 (52% to 48% in favour – the same ratio as the June 2016 national referendum result in favour of leaving the EU.
“Just a few weeks ago, hardly anybody believed that we could reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, let alone abolish the backstop …. and certainly nobody thought that we could secure the approval of the House for a new deal,” Johnson said on his feet, addressing the House of Commons. “We should not overlook the significance of this moment.”
However MPs yet again pulled the rug from underneath a beaming Johnson by then voting against his timetable to make the bill law, leaving his Brexit vow to leave the EU by October 31 in tatters. Johnson then said he would hit “pause” to discover what the EU would do. The European Union had agreed that the UK should leave the European Union by October 31 with or without a deal.
Read Next: Five surprising things about Boris Johnson
Boris's Brexit deal passed Parliament tonight, but Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have voted to delay it again. pic.twitter.com/4PGsKOf078
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 22, 2019
“The EU must now make up their minds on how to answer Parliament’s request for a delay,” Johnson said.
“The government must take the only responsible course and accelerate our preparations for a no deal outcome
“I will speak to EU member states about their intentions.
“Let me be clear – our policy remains that we should not delay. That we should leave the EU on October 31 and that is what I will say to the EU.”
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he recommended the EU allows Britain another Brexit extension beyond October 31 “in order to avoid a no deal”.
Following PM @BorisJohnson’s decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, and in order to avoid a no-deal #Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension. For this I will propose a written procedure.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 22, 2019
Johnson, had to against his wish, request an extension to leave the EU until the end of January 2020. It is the third time that the UK has asked for an extension beyond the permitted two years of exit negotiations.
The EU’s 27 countries have to agree to the latest Brexit extension request.
Johnson having almost inevitably broken his promise to take Britain out of the EU whatever happened on October 31, appears likely to give up on Parliament and ask the country what’s next at a general election.
He cannot call an election without the agreement of MPs and the election will be a battle with no certainty that he will get the majority he seeks.