No-Deal bill to be debated in UK House of Lords on Friday

FILE PHOTO. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

A bill aimed at stopping the UK crashing out of the EU on October 31st with No-Deal, will go to the House of Lords on Friday, the UK government has said.

The bill which seeks to stop a No-Deal Brexit passed through the House of Commons yesterday following its third reading during Wednesday evening.

Last night MPs voted 327 votes in favour of the bill, to 299 against it, triggering the Prime Minister to call for an early election. When put to the vote, 298 MPs voted for the motion while 56 voted against and 288 abstained. Had the necessary two thirds been achieved, the country could’ve been going to the polls on October 15th.

Opposition MPs and the Labour Party didn’t support the election proposal if the No-Deal Brexit deadline of the 31st October was still on the table. Johnson would’ve required a two-thirds majority in favour of the election move. Johnson was 133 less of hitting his margin.

Update 4: 2 3rds of MPs reject snap election bid

Royal Assent

There are initial concerns that the passage to the House of Lords would be blocked by Pro-Brexit MPs attempting to prevent the bill getting royal assent, prior to Parliament’s prorogation next week.

Following a long session lasting until 1.30AM, Lord Ashton of Hyde said that the Lords would be taking on the bill from Friday and have it completed by 5PM UK time (6PM Malta time).

On Monday it is expected that MPs will be able to consider the amendments from the Lords and will be ready in time for royal assent.

The Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously explained that the Labour Party would only support the Prime Minister’s interest in a general election on the proviso that the bill receives royal assent.

The Bill

The No-Deal bill which was presented to the Parliament by Labour MP Hilary Benn, calls on the Prime Minister to pass a deal or approve the No-Deal Brext with MPs by October 19th.

If the deadline passes, Mr Johnson will have to go to the European Union to call for a further extension which will see the Brexit withdrawal date being moved to 31st January 2020.

The bill asks that the Prime Minister to make a formal request in writing to the European Council President. Should the EU provide a different date, Mr Johnson would have 2 days to approve the date. This also means that MPs would be have the chance to reject it and not the government.

Election apples

Immediately following the vote on the election, the Prime Minister explained that it was surprising that the Labout Leader Jeremy Corbyn, was refusing ‘the invitation to an election’

Johnson called on Corbyn’s colleagues to consider what not supporting an election meant for them.

Corbyn had previously explained that he wanted the bill to pass and gain the required royal assent before considering an election.

He referred to the PM’s offer as ‘an apple to Snow White from the Wicked Queen… offering the poison of a no-deal.’

While the government has claimed that changes are being negotiated with the EU Brexit negotiators over the Withdrawal Agreement, the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier has said that it has once again hit a brick wall.

Barnier also said that it appeared the UK was revising down its ambitions for the political declaration, the stage which follows the withdrawal.