British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a new election after Parliament voted to block him from moving forward with his threat of a no-deal Brexit, The New York Times reports.
Johnson vowed to pull out of the European Union by the October 31 deadline even if the country does not reach a deal with the EU. But Parliament voted 328 to 301 -- with 21 members of Johnson’s party defecting -- to wrest away control of the government to block him from moving forward.
“A majority of lawmakers are determined to block a withdrawal from the European Union without a deal, which they believe would be disastrous for the country’s economy,” The Times reported. “Tuesday’s vote suggested they have the numbers to succeed.”
Opponents say a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the economy and could lead to food shortages as well as a lack of fuel and medicine.
After the vote, the Conservative Party moved to expel members who voted against Johnson.
Johnson calls for new election:
“I don’t want an election, the public don’t want an election, but if the House votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on Oct. 17 to sort this out and take this country forward,” Johnson said, referring to a bill brought by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, which would prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson’s aides said he would seek a general election for October 14 but Parliament would have to vote to approve the snap elections.
Corbyn has vowed to oppose a new election unless Johnson agrees to pass a bill barring a no-deal Brexit. That bill is expected to pass on Wednesday.
Talks still stalled over Ireland:
“Britain’s main demand is for the European Union to ditch the so-called Irish backstop, a guarantee that the bloc insists it needs to ensure that goods flow smoothly across the Irish border whatever happens in trade negotiations with Britain,” The Times reported. “Labour has said that its priority is to stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, because of concerns about what such a departure would mean for the economy.”