13, June 2019
Members of the British parliament have rejected a key move by the opposition Labour Party meant to block a potential disorderly withdrawal from the European Union.
In a Wednesday session of the House of Commons, lawmakers voted 309 to 298 against Labour’s measure which sought to seize control of the parliamentary agenda from the government if it wants to go ahead with plans for a no-deal Brexit on October 31 this year.
Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU in a tight referendum, the government and the parliament in the country are still at odds on how to deliver on the results of the historic vote.
The Commons have rejected a Brexit deal by outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May on three occasions.
Conservative Party candidates seeking to replace May have declared their intention to implement a no-deal Brexit if the parliament fails to endorse the divorce agreement with the EU.
The Labour, however, has repeatedly vowed to block a no-deal Brexit, saying it will not allow the ruling Tories to take advantage of the political deadlock on Brexit to extend their grip on power.
Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said after the Wednesday vote that the party would continue with its efforts to prevent the next Tory prime minister to bring Britain out of the EU without a deal.
“Labour stands ready to use whatever mechanism it can to protect jobs, the economy and communities from the disastrous consequences of a no-deal Brexit,” said Starmer, adding, “This is just the start, not the end of our efforts to block no-deal.”
Boris Johnson, the top candidate to win the Conservative Party leadership vote in late July and replace May, repeated his promise for a no-deal Brexit as he launched his official campaign earlier on Wednesday.
Johnson said the Tories could not withstand another delay to Brexit as it would inflict a huge loss on the reputation of the ruling party.
“Delay means defeat, delay means ruin,” said Johnson, adding, “We will simply not get a result if we give the impression that we want to go on kicking the can down the road and yet more delay.”