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Boris Johnson requests Brexit delay after British lawmakers postpone key vote

by Ace Damon
Boris Johnson requests Brexit delay after British lawmakers postpone key vote

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Brexit can cause a fierce conflict, especially if there are new customs and passport controls along the now invisible border between EU member Ireland and UK Northern Ireland after Britain leaves the European Union. (October 16th)
AP, AP

LONDON – In a surprise, British opposition lawmakers and rebels voted on Saturday to postpone an important Brexit votelegally forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request a delay in Britain's exit from the European Union.

Reluctantly, Johnson sent a letter requesting the delay on Saturday night, but also made it clear that he personally objected to postponing the departure of the United Kingdom, scheduled for October 31.

The letter has not been signed. It was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Johnson, arguing that the delay would "hurt interests if the UK and our EU partners".

On Saturday, Johnson said he would not negotiate a delay.

Johnson's result and response inject new confusion and uncertainty into the Brexit process and put a lot of pressure Britain's leader only three months in his tenure. Johnson has repeatedly promised not to postpone Britain's departure to the EU after 31 October.

Your government has argued that any delay increases the likelihood of a "without agreement" Brexit, which experts warn could hurt the British economy and lead to border chaos.

"I will not negotiate a delay, nor does the law oblige me," Johnson said, reacting to the 322-306 vote, which he lost by 16 votes. He said he was "fearless" with the defeat and would try to introduce legislation next week to implement his EU exit deal.

This could happen as early as Monday.

It was an important moment in the prolonged attempt to close the Brexit Deadlock and one that could have far-reaching consequences for Brexit, Johnson and the country's trajectory more than three years after Britain narrowly voted to leave the bloc.

It is not clear what happens next.

Acrimony, divisions, frustration: Brexit's three-year battle in the UK is coming to an end, but it's not over yet

Lawmakers were to vote on Saturday for a new withdrawal agreement that Johnson negotiated with the EU. The day had been dubbed "Super Saturday". But a last-minute motion by the opposition and rebel parliamentarians closed the vote.

The law says Johnson must now ask the EU to delay Brexit at 11 pm. London time (18:00 ET). Johnson said his policy remains "unchanged".

Jeremy Corbyn, head of the opposition Labor Party, asked Johnson to enforce the law and said Saturday's defeat was an "emphatic" rejection of Johnson's plan.

"I will tell our EU friends and colleagues exactly what I have told everyone in the last 88 days that I have served as prime minister: that further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for the European Union. Democracy," said Johnson.

Anand Menon, professor of politics and Brexit expert at King's College London, was asked in a BBC television interview if Johnson's refusal to ask for an extension was just overbearing.

"I would have to assume that since I can't think of an alternative that doesn't violate a very, very clear law," he replied.

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Britain's leader, a close ally of President Donald Trump, hoped to get a vote on his agreement that would allow him to claim victory over a Brexit lawsuit that led to the resignation of his predecessors David Cameron and Theresa May; bitterly divided British households; and has caused deep anxiety in the country's business community, as well as among millions of EU citizens living in Britain and Britons living in mainland EU countries. Saturday's surprise result undermines this plan.

Johnson now faces Brexit's humiliation after repeatedly promising to do so by October 31. Earlier this year, Parliament passed separate legislation obliging the Prime Minister to ask the EU for a Brexit extension to avoid a "no deal" Brexit. Johnson also did not commit to his willingness to comply with this law.

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Johnson may be forced to leave office. He could resign. An election can be triggered.

Meanwhile, the EU has not fully committed to granting another extension if Johnson requests, even if he wants to avoid a "no deal" Brexit because the EU economy, security agreements and other important infrastructure are linked to the British.

"It will be up to the UK government to inform us of next steps as soon as possible," EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said on Twitter. Andreeva said the Commission, the EU executive branch, was not advising a course of action.

While the vote was taking place in London, thousands of people gathered on the streets to ask for a "final word" on Johnson's deal.

"It's our future, we deserve to vote for something that will impact our lives," said Jen Thomas, 20, a college student, who protested the "people" vote on terms that Johnson negotiated with the EU.

May, who supports Johnson's withdrawal deal with the EU, told lawmakers that she had a "distinct sense of deja vu" while Parliament debated whether to support her successor's agreement with the 28-nation bloc. The former prime minister reluctantly resigned in July after Parliament repeatedly rejected her agreement with Brexit.

The fate of the United Kingdom, consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is also, to some extent, linked to Brexit.

Scottish government chief Nicola Sturgeon, who strongly opposes Brexit, said at the Scottish National Party's annual conference this week that the central government of the United Kingdom in London has "broken the union's argument". A 2014 Scottish independence vote was not passed, but polls show that support has increased as a result of Brexit and the Institute of Government, a think tank, published a report that concluded that a "no deal" Brexit could bring the process. 300 years old. former union with the "breaking point".

Still, the dirty little secret is that Brexit is not complete, even if it happens on October 31st. Indeed, even if Britain leaves the EU later this month from a legal perspective, the Brexit process does not end there. Really, in a sense, it's just beginning.

The deal that Britain and the EU are trying to reach before 31 October sets only the general rules for a transitional period, as the two sides negotiate a new relationship in trade, consumer protection, security and more.

Some of the Brexit-related complications are about the status of EU Member State land border with Northern Ireland, which currently enjoys frictionless trading.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, for example, has threatened to block a free trade agreement that Britain hopes to sign with the United States if the EU's withdrawal of Britain undermines Friday's agreement. Saint who ended the violent conflict in Northern Ireland.

Johnson's agreement is about limiting interruptions while these negotiations take place. The transitional period would end by the end of December 2020.

Further muddying the waters: Researches show that the average support for staying in the EU among the British public is now almost exactly the opposite of what it was three years ago: 53% to 47% is in favor of the "Stay" side. "Leave" won the 2016 vote between 52% and 48%.

Contribution: Associated Press

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/10/19/brexit-britains-parliament-vote-boris-johnsons-eu-withdrawal-deal/4021403002/

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