UK parliament nixes Johnson's December 12 election proposal

UK parliament nixes Johnsons December 12 election proposal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.- Reuters

London - Opposition parties said they wanted an election, but not on the prime minister's terms.



By AP

Published: Mon 28 Oct 2019, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 29 Oct 2019, 12:48 AM

British lawmakers have rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call to hold an early election on December 12 in a bid to break the political deadlock over Brexit.
The House of Commons voted 299-70 to hold an early election, but that fell well short of the two-thirds majority of all 650 lawmakers that Johnson needed.
Opposition parties said they wanted an election, but not on the prime minister's terms.
The opposition Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party plan to try to secure a December 9 election using a different procedure.
The wrangling follows the European Union's decision to give Britain a three-month delay to its departure, which had been due to take place on October 31.
The European Union agreed on Monday to delay Brexit by three months until January 31, acting to avert a chaotic UK departure just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc.
After a short meeting of diplomats in Brussels, European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted that the EU's 27 other countries would accept "the UK's request for a Brexit flextension until 31 January, 2020".
Under the terms of the "flextension", the UK can leave before January 31 if the British and European parliaments both ratify a Brexit divorce agreement - either on December 1 or January 1.
Johnson has grudgingly accepted a three-month delay to the UK's departure from the European Union, but stressed that he's doing it against his will.
In a letter to Tusk, Johnson says that under UK law "I have no discretion to do anything other than confirm the UK's formal agreement to this extension".
He called the delay "unwanted" and said it was "imposed on this government against its will".
In his letter, Johnson urges the 27 other EU countries "to make clear that a further extension after 31 January is not possible".


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