Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Britain's Johnson loses majority ahead of Brexit Parliament showdown

British PM faces Brexit rebellion, threatens election BREXIT: British lawmakers trigger vote to block PM leaving EU with no deal
Russell Knight | 03 September, 2019, 23:51

Dr Lee was among a list of at least 14 Tory MPs who had defied a threat from Downing Street to throw them out of the party in order to vote for measures to block a no-deal Brexit.

Boris Johnson is still UK Prime Minister but for the first time there are more Members of Parliament (MPs) lined up against him, than there are on his side. "Perhaps most disappointingly, it has increasingly become infected with the twin diseases of populism and English nationalism".

Members of Parliament opposed to Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal on October 31 - as Johnson has threatened to do - called Tuesday for an emergency debate that would allow them to seize control of the agenda from the government in the House of Commons tomorrow.

Johnson has hinted at a snap election if he loses the vote.

The euro was also sitting around levels not seen since the second half of the same year, as investors prepare for a huge day in Westminster with anti-Brexit MPs planning to hold a vote on their return from the summer break on Tuesday.

On NPR's Here and Now, Langfitt explained that Johnson may choose to run a campaign critical of Parliament and essentially say that lawmakers are "trying to rob the people of the Brexit vote" - and that he just needs an electoral majority to push it through.

If they succeed, they will introduce their bill on Wednesday and seek to get it through before parliament is suspended next week.

"This week could be our last chance", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a speech on Monday.

But losing the majority does not automatically bring down the government as this can only happen if the government loses a formal confidence vote.

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The pound sterling hit multi-year lows against the dollar on Tuesday amid fears of a no-deal Brexit but rebounded after Johnson lost his working parliamentary majority.

His decision to suspend parliament for over a month starting next week so that MPs do not try to hinder his progress has stirred outrage and is being challenged in three separate courts.

From the start, he faced opposition from his own MPs who fear his threat of leaving the European Union without an agreement with Brussels risks severe economic disruption.

Leaked government assessments have warned that no-deal could lead to food, fuel and medicine shortages.

United Nations economists also on Tuesday warned that Britain could lose at least $16 billion (14.6 billion euros) a year on exports to the European Union if it left without a deal.

Johnson insists the potential for leaving without a deal must remain as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the EU. The EU has so far refused, saying Johnson has not been able to offer a workable alternative.

Johnson implicitly warned lawmakers on Monday that he would seek an election if they tied his hands in talks to negotiate a last-minute divorce deal, ruling out ever countenancing a further delay to Brexit, originally due to take place last March but now scheduled for October 31.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission said Tuesday that it had yet to see any "concrete proposals" from London on how it wants to change the existing deal.

A no-deal Brexit is considered risky because it will sever decades of seamless trade with Europe's single market of 500 million people.

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