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Brexit blow for Boris Johnson after lawmakers defer decision on deal

Posted at 7:05 AM, Oct 19, 2019

LONDON – Boris Johnson suffered yet another Brexit setback as UK lawmakers voted to delay approval of the UK Prime Minister's departure deal until Parliament passes the legislation required to enact it.

Johnson must now ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit process until the end of January, an outcome he has been determined to avoid since he returned in triumph with a new deal earlier this week.

A senior government source told CNN that Johnson would introduce the withdrawal legislation anyway, with a view to getting it through by the original deadline of October 31.

Oliver Letwin, the MP who proposed the plan, said it was an "insurance policy" to ensure Britain would not "crash out" of the European Union without a deal on October 31. It passed by 322 to 306.

By denying Johnson a straight up-and-down vote on the deal he agreed with the EU earlier this week, the day dubbed as Super Saturday became something of an anti-climax.

In the first weekend sitting of Parliament for 37 years, Johnson had implored MPs from all sides of the House of Commons to back the deal and support a "shared sense of destiny."

Urging MPs to "bring the country together," Johnson said a vote for the deal would end the division that has charactarized the Brexit debate. "Let's go for a deal that can heal this country," he said.

Earlier, Johnson said "further delay is pointless and expensive," in what appeared to be a dig at the Letwin amendment.

"Let's go for a deal that can heal this country," he argued.

The PM called on the House of Commons to come together "and bring this country together."

"This deal allows the UK whole and entire to leave the EU on October 31st," he added.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the deal "should be voted down by the House" as it is a "race to the bottom in regulation and standards."

The Labour leader called it worse than the one that was rejected three times under Theresa May's government.