UK parl’t initially agrees Brexit bill, rejects timetable

LONDON, The UK House of Commons has agreed in its second reading the Brexit deal, but rebuffed the Prime Minister Boris Johnson-proposed bill to end Brexit discussions in three days. In a big victory for Prime Minister Johnson, MPs voted in favor the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, by 329 votes to 229.

This is the first time the House of Commons backs a Brexit bill in three years of non-stop debates.

The premier hailed the historic breakthrough, saying he is joyful that MPs have finally agreed on a Brexit blueprint.

But shortly, Johnson suffered a new setback when MPs rejected his so-called programme motion bill, for ending Brexit debates in the parliament within 72 hours, by 322 votes to 308.

Prime Minister Johnson expressed disappointment that the lawmakers have again voted for delay rather than a timetable that would have guaranteed that the UK would have been in a position to leave the EU on October 31 with a deal.

In defiant tone, Johnson said he will pause the withdrawal bill and will not ask for a delay from the EU. “Until we have reached a decision I am afraid we will pause this legislation. Let me be clear. Our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the EU on October 31 and that is what I will say to the EU and I will report back to the House,” he said. “One way or another we will leave the EU with this deal to which this House has just given its assent and I thank members across the house for that hard won agreement.” Earlier, Johnson said if the vote failed, he would scrap his Brexit deal and push for a snap election.

Meanwhile, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Johnson was “the author of his own misfortune” – but offered to enter discussions over a “sensible” timetable for his deal to go through parliament.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson called on Johnson to “end the brinkmanship and replace it with some statesmanship” in order to secure an extension with the EU.

Source: Kuwait News Agency