Brexit Chaos: UK MPs Vote against Early Election, House Speaker to Step down
By Staff- Agencies
British MPs on Tuesday voted against holding an early election next month for the second time in recent weeks, a fresh blow for the beleaguered Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The vote came just before the suspension of parliament for five weeks - a controversial move decided by Johnson.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted earlier on Monday he would not request a delay to Brexit beyond October 31 despite MPs approving a new law that could force him to do so.
Johnson said that if MPs refused to support his call for an election then he would go to an EU summit in Brussels on October 17-18 "and negotiate our departure on October 31, hopefully with a deal but without one if necessary".
"I will not ask for another delay," Johnson stressed, without explaining how he would get around the new law which requires the prime minister to request a three-month delay if no Brexit deal is agreed at the summit.
Johnson's speech came in another day of drama in Westminster - hours before he suspends the parliamentary session until just a few weeks before Brexit.
MPs also passed a motion demanding the government publish all documents relating to Operation Yellowhammer, the effort to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit.
In another act of defiance, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced he would step down by October 31 at the latest in a speech filled with barbs against the government.
That came ahead of another expected defeat for Johnson, with MPs poised to reject for a second time his call for an election to break the political impasse over Britain's future.
Many MPs are deeply opposed to Johnson's threat to end Britain's 46-year-old membership of the EU at the end of next month without agreeing any new arrangements.
Johnson's move to suspend parliament caused widespread outrage and one of Monday's votes demanded that official communications relating to it be published.
Johnson said it was a routine move to allow his premiership, which only began in July, to start afresh with a new legislative program.