British Prime Minister on Tuesday received a heavy loss on his first key Brexit vote and itis likely to say that Britain may be headed toward new elections. From his own Conservative Party, 21 members voted against him to take control of the parliamentary agenda. The day was rough for Johnson which ended with the prime minister introducing a bill seeking a general election.
He claimed that he will take action on that election bill Wednesday if he sees a second defeat and Parliament approves legislation to delay Brexit by another three months. “Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels,” Johnson said. “Because tomorrow’s bill would hand control of the negotiations to the E.U. And that would mean more dither, more delay, more confusion,” he said.
He went on saying, “If the House votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on October 17 to sort this out.”
He became the Prime Minister of Britain in July through a vote involving only dues-paying members of his party. A general election – putting all seats in the House of Commons up for a vote – could either sink his government or give him a popular mandate for his promise to leave the E.U. by Oct. 31, “do or die.”
To schedule an election, which may happen as soon as Oct. 14, Johnson will need the support of two-thirds of Parliament. This will be Britain’s third general election in five years.
On the other side, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party is ready to compete for an election but wanted Parliament to pass the delay bill. It also demanded to ensure that Britain won’t suddenly exit the E.U. in October without a deal.
“Tonight we defeated Boris Johnson in his first Commons test and tomorrow we will legislate against his disastrous No Deal plans,” Corbyn tweeted.
Johnson lost in the voting by 328 to 301. He was appearing before Parliament for the second time since he was appointed as the PM. He was mocked and jeered mercilessly as he defended his hard-line Brexit stand.
Johnson also warned the rebels of his party who voted against him to throw out of his party. The rebels include party grandees Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond, both former chancellors, as well as Nicholas Soames, Winston Churchill’s grandson.
Guto Harris, Johnson’s former communications director, told reporters that Johnson risks “historical humiliation” in the Brexit maneuvering. “It looks as if he’s prepared to bet on himself being the shortest-serving prime minister in history,” Harris said.