Law to prevent no-deal Brexit moves a step closer
A law designed to prevent the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union next month has cleared another hurdle after the British government announced a late-night breakthrough in the House of Lords.
The legislation to delay Brexit in order to prevent a no-deal departure – a bill that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said would “scupper negotiations” – passed all stages in the Commons yesterday.
There were fears the Bill could have been stalled in the House of Lords, with Labour peer and leading lawyer Baroness Kennedy accusing Tory peer Lord True, who had submitted a raft of amendments to the motion, of time-wasting.
The Lords sat until 1.30am this morning when chief whip Lord Ashton said all stages of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill will be completed by 5pm tomorrow.
“We have also received a commitment from the chief whip in the House of Commons that Commons consideration of any Lords amendments will take place on Monday and it is the government’s intention that the Bill be ready for Royal Assent,” he told peers.
The late night debate capped a day of high drama in Westminster where newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson was defeated over a backbench Bill to delay Brexit and a plan for a snap general election.
Mr Johnson had called for a poll to be held on 15 October but Labour and other opposition MPs refused to back the bid – which needed a two-thirds majority in the Commons – while the risk of a no-deal remained.
The government failed to secure the support of two-thirds of MPs, with the Commons voting 298 to 55 – 136 short of the number needed.