London, 28 December 2019 (dpa/MIA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to soldier on with his bid to end the political deadlock over Brexit, vowing late Monday to present another motion for snap elections after his first failed to pass the House of Commons.
Monday’s 299-70 vote fell short of the two-thirds majority Johnson needed for the motion to pass. He intends to publish on Tuesday another short piece of legislation seeking the election.
The second bill proposing an election on December 12 will only need a simple majority of 320 lawmakers to pass.
“We will not allow this paralysis to continue, and one way or another we must proceed straight to an election,” Johnson said, according to the Press Association news agency.
“This house cannot any longer keep this country hostage,” said Johnson, who lacks a majority in parliament.
The ratification of Johnson’s Brexit deal ground to a halt last week when British lawmakers indicated their approval but rejected a three-day timetable to scrutinize it and turn it into law. Johnson was compelled to lodge a request for a three-month extension, against his will, by an act of British parliament.
Earlier in the day, Johnson had accepted the terms outlined by the European Union on a Brexit “flextension” that gives Britain until January 31 to leave the bloc.
Johnson has repeatedly stated Britain would leave the EU on October 31 with or without a Brexit deal, but he was legally compelled to seek an extension by parliament against his will.
The EU’s remaining 27 member states gave London the last-minute reprieve with the aim of signing off a Brexit divorce deal struck between British and EU negotiators earlier this month.
On Monday, the EU member states approved a three-month delay from the October 31 Brexit deadline, granting Britain the possibility of leaving the bloc earlier than January 31 if the withdrawal agreement is ratified.
Another possible option is an election on December 9, a date suggested by the opposition Liberal Democrats and the Scottish SNP.