Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday suffered two major losses in Parliament. It has lead to leave his governing authority in doubt and the terms of Britain’s pending exit from the European Union unclear.
The resounding votes against Johnson capped a dramatic week in which protesters marched across the country and legislators were expelled from their party for voting against no-deal Brexit.
Johnson is facing a stormy situation as Britons of every ideology have been left angry and frustrated. After serving just six weeks as the President, Johnson has lost his governing majority as he exiled some of his party’s most honored members and been slapped down by lawmakers three times in 24 hours.
Jon Tonge, a politics professor at the University of Liverpool said, “It’s the shortest honeymoon in British political history,” and he also said that Johnson is essentially in government but not in power. “Boris Johnson is in a terrible mess,” added Jon.
Lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday passed legislation seeking to avert a no-deal Brexit on Oct-31 and effectively delay Brexit another three months. 20 rebel members of Johnson’s Conservative Party joined to opposition lawmakers which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Johnson.
However, the bill still needed to be passed by the House of Lords which planned to debate all night Wednesday but is expected to give its approval. The lawmakers were accused by Johnson of voting “to stop, to scupper any serious negotiations.”
“I think it’s very sad that MPs have voted like this. I think it’s a great dereliction of their democratic duties,” he added. To support his call for a general election, Johnson needed two-thirds of the 650 members of the House of Commons but he got only 298 votes. The Labour Party’s 247 lawmakers abstained from the vote.
“We want an election so we look forward to turfing this government out,” Corbyn said. But he called Johnson’s election motion “a cynical move by a cynical prime minister” who is trying to sneak through a no-deal Brexit.
Corbyn and his lieutenants insisted on guaranteeing against an October no-deal exit with legislation approved by the House of Lords and signed into law. After the vote, Johnson said tweaking Corbyn, “The obvious conclusion I’m afraid is he does not think he will win.”
He accused his opponents of “dither, delay and confusion” that would guarantee more years of debate and uncertainty about Brexit. The PM also rejected the predictions of the economic harm of a no-deal Brexit as “shameless scaremongering.”
Taking an exceptional decision, Johnson expelled 21 rebels from his party who voted against him on Tuesday. He said that the members will be replaced in the next election by candidates more loyal to him and his Brexit vision.