London: British lawmakers on Tuesday (local time) voted in favour of the new Brexit plan proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as an attempt to fast-track the process of UK’s withdrawal from the EU by October 31.
Parliamentarians first voted 329 to 299 in favour of the government’s 110-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill, signifying support in principle for the Brexit deal Johnson recently brokered with the EU, Al Jazeera reported.
However, continuing the high political drama in a second vote shortly after, legislators rebuffed by 322 to 308 the government’s proposed three-day timetable for approving the legislation through Parliament in a move that prompted Johnson to put the Brexit bill on “pause”. The defeat for the government could put the brakes on the UK’s scheduled date of divorce from the EU.
The EU is currently weighing whether to grant the UK another extension to the deadline for leaving the bloc after Johnson was forced to request a delay until January 31 over the weekend.
The vote kicked off at around 7:00 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday after a heated debate.
European Council President Donald Tusk said he will “recommend” EU leaders to accept the UK’s request for a Brexit extension after the developments in Parliament.
“Following PM @BorisJohnson’s decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, and in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension,” Tusk said in a post on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the UK would not be leaving the EU on October 31, as repeatedly promised by Johnson, following the developments in Parliament.
“Do or die is over, we have now moved on to dying in a ditch. We will not be leaving the EU on 31st October,” Farage said in a post on Twitter, referencing Johnson’s claim that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit past the end of this month.