UK lawmakers reject Brexit law timetable

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 22, 2019 - Duration: 02:22s

UK lawmakers reject Brexit law timetable

Britain's departure from the European Union was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after parliament rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's extremely tight timetable for ratifying his exit deal.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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UK lawmakers reject Brexit law timetable

Britain's departure from the European Union thrown into chaos on Tuesday TELLER SAYING (English): "The ayes to the right, 308, the noes to the left, 322." In yet another high drama day in the House of Commons, lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's swift timetable to ratify his new Brexit deal.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWMAKER AND LABOUR MP KARL TURNER, SAYING: (PART OVERLAID WITH SHOT OF PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON): "Mr. Speaker.

I was incredibly concerned when I was reminded by my wife earlier today that we spent, my wife and I, spent longer choosing a sofa than we have to debate this incredibly important bill." As the clock ticks down to the latest Oct.

31 deadline for Britain's departure, Brexit is hanging in the balance.

Following the timetable's rejection - Johnson said the government would pause legislation while he awaits word from Brussels on a possible extension.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "Mr. Speaker, I must express my disappointment that the House has again voted for delay rather than a timetable that would have guaranteed that the UK would be in a position to leave the EU on October 31 with a deal.

And we now face further uncertainty and the EU must now must make up their minds over how to answer parliament's request for a delay." Ahead of the vote, Johnson had warned that if parliament it defeated him on the timetable and forced a delay until January - he would abandon his deal and push for new elections…putting the question of Brexit to voters.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "I will argue at that election -- no, Mr. Speaker -- I would argue at that election: let's get Brexit done." But Johnson will now need to win yet another vote to trigger an early election - because one is not scheduled until 2022.

The stinging defeat for Johnson came after a rare victory with lawmakers voting in favor of his Brexit deal at an important second reading, which would open the agreement up to debate and possible amendment.

It was the first time parliament has signaled support for the deal he recently struck with the EU..

But then, parliament voted against his efforts to fast track it in time for next week's deadline.

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