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Johnson has seen his plans scuppered on two different occasions over the last few days, but now faces a vote on his Withdrawal Agreement Bill and then on whether he’s able to rush it through Parliament before the October 31 deadline. The bill would see his Brexit deal with Brussels last week turned into U.K. law.
On Saturday, the U.K. Parliament decided not to have a clear yes or no vote on the deal that the prime minister negotiated with the EU, arguing that politicians should first approve the necessary legislation to leave the bloc. A majority of parliamentarians pushed for this in order to prevent a no-deal scenario at the end of the month as it triggered a law that meant Johnson had to request a deadline extension with the EU.
On Monday, Johnson was then turned down in his request to hold another decisive yes or no vote by the House Speaker.
A rejection of this timeframe would effectively mean a deadline extension is inevitable. Some lawmakers have voiced their opposition against what they believe is a rushed schedule.
Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament
“Boris Johnson knows that the more time people have to read the small print of his deal, the more it will be exposed for the risks it represents to our economy and communities,” Starmer also said.
What about the EU?In the meantime, the European Union is closely monitoring events in the U.K. Parliament. The other 27 EU member states want to move on with the U.K.’s departure from the bloc, but they will not ratify the Withdrawal Agreement until there’s a clear position from Westminster. The EU Parliament still needs to approve the deal despite EU leaders already doing so last week.
The EU and the U.K. had previously negotiated a deal with former U.K. leader Theresa May in 2018, but that got rejected three times by U.K. lawmakers.
Johnson, who entered Downing Street in July, renegotiated the most controversial part of that deal — the so-called Irish backstop — with his EU counterparts last week. The European Parliament could approve that deal next week, if needed, but will not do so until Westminster approves the revised text.
Sterling dipped on Tuesday morning to 1.2955 against the dollar after breaking above $1.30 in the previous session and trading at five-and-a-half month highs.