After an alliance of opposition lawmakers backed by 21 rebels from Johnson's Conservative Party took control of Wednesday’s parliamentary agenda, the MPs voted on a bill that would force the government to request a three-month Brexit delay rather than leave without a divorce agreement.
Johnson said the bill had scuppered his Brexit negotiations with the European Union and was designed to overturn the 2016 referendum on leaving the bloc. The cross-party alliance voted 329-300 and then 327-299 in the second and third readings.
“It’s, therefore, a bill without precedent in the history of this house, seeking as it does to force the prime minister with a pre-drafted letter to surrender in international negotiations,” Johnson told MPs at the House of Commons.
The bill forcing Johnson to ask the EU to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 unless he has a deal by Oct. 19 approved by the British government on the terms and manner of the exit, will now go on to the House of Lords and then to finally become law will need royal assent.
"[Johnson] must accept the will of this House, accept the bill that Parliament has passed, accept your duty as prime minister and go to the European Council on 17 October and negotiate the extension you have been instructed to deliver," Scottish National Party leader, Ian Blackford said.
When No Deal is off the table, once and for all, we should go back to the people in a public vote or a General Election to decide our country’s future. pic.twitter.com/lT6wuJxikJ
After this first defeat, the Tory PM still had the snap election-card under his sleeve. Yet Johnson’s proposal for an election on Oct. 15, a date that would have allowed him to repeal the blocking bill, secured 298 votes to 56, far short of the 434 needed, as the Labour Party instructed its lawmakers to abstain on the vote.
Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would agree to hold an early election once the no-deal bill passed the upper house of parliament, and became law, something that could happen on Monday.
“Let this bill pass and gain royal assent, then we will back an election,” he said.
This comes as Johnson's decision to suspend parliament for about a month left the MPs with a few days to stop the premier, and as few as six days in October to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill after the Queen's Speech.