The U.K.’s House Of Commons has approved a bill that requires the legislature to approve a no-deal Brexit from the European Union. The legislation, called the Benn Bill, would also compel Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek an extension if Parliament doesn’t OK a no-deal exit.
The bill is a rebuke to Johnson, who has vowed to fulfill referendum voters’ wish for a Brexit by Oct. 31 whether there’s a deal or not.
Explaining his bill, Member of Parliament Hilary Benn says, “The Bill gives the Government time either to reach a new agreement with the European Union at the European Council meeting next month or to seek Parliament’s specific consent to leave the EU without a deal.”
If neither of those conditions are met by Oct. 19, Benn says, Johnson must ask the European Council to add another Brexit extension, setting the new date of Jan. 31, 2020. The Brexit deadline is currently Oct. 31.
The bill was approved by a vote of 327 to 299. After the result was announced, Johnson slammed the legislation, saying it could extend the already delayed process for “many more years to come.” Johnson also criticized the bill by saying it seeks to “force the prime minister, with a predrafted letter, to surrender in international negotiations” with the European Union.
“I refuse to do this,” Johnson said of that requirement. He then said there is only one way forward: to hold a general election on Oct. 15.
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