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Brexit: MPs vote to stop parliament suspension
Brexit: MPs vote to stop parliament suspension

U.K. lawmakers on Thursday passed an amendment that will prevent the future prime minister from suspending parliament and forcing through a no-deal Brexit.  

The cross-party amendment, submitted by Labour and Conservative MPs Hillary Benn and Alistair Burt, was voted through the House of Commons by 315 votes to 274, a majority of 41.

Among those MPs who voted in favor of the amendment was the former Culture, Media and Sport minister Margot James, who resigned from her position to support the bill. Phillip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, along with other ministers, was reported to have abstained in defiance to a three-line whip.

The move represents a pre-emptive strike against efforts to prorogue parliament by Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister, who has repeatedly threatened to suspend parliament in order to ensure a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

The high-margin victory represents the general unpopularity on the idea of parliament being suspended and the resistance any future leader will face in forcing the U.K. to leave the EU without an agreement.

The Benn-Burt amendment has strengthened earlier amendments at thwarting plans at proroguing parliament and will empower the legislature at having a greater say on how the U.K. will leave the bloc.

On Wednesday, the House of Lords passed an amendment to help prevent a no-deal Brexit. The amendment, voted on by a majority of 103 peers, would ensure that parliament would be in session in the vital weeks before 31 October.

Last week, an amendment put forward by the Europhile Tory MP Dominic Grieve to ensure that the power-sharing assembly in Northern Ireland is restored and thus have a greater say in the Brexit negotiations to prevent a no-deal was passed.

Johnson has declared last week in an article on a pro-Brexit site that he will make the U.K. “match fit” for a no-deal Brexit to ensure that it can leave the bloc on Oct. 31 and that there would be no second chances beyond the proposed deadline.

The EU have repeatedly stated that they will not renegotiate the deal agreed with outgoing prime minister Theresa May. Johnson and his rival Jeremy Hunt have not presented an alternative and viable deal.

The U.K. is set to leave the EU on Oct. 31.


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