Britain’s upper house on Friday gave final approval to a law that would force Boris Johnson to delay,in a fresh setback for the British Prime Minister who is struggling in his bid to call an early election.
The legislation, which requires Mr. Johnson to ask for a three-month extension to Britain’s EU membership if Parliament has not approved either a deal or consented to leaving without agreement by October 19, is expected to be signed into law by Queen Elizabeth on Monday.
The draft, which now requires formal assent by Queen Elizabeth II to become law, would seek to postpone Brexit beyond the current deadline of October 31 if Johnson does not manage to strike a divorce agreement with the EU next month.
Johnson, who has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay, wants an early general election that could give him a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a divorce deal.
Meanwhile, the EU said it was still waiting for proposals from the UK government on how to end its political impasse on Brexit, while talks about the stalled withdrawal agreement continued in Brussels.
European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said that “for progress to be made in the talks, it remains crucial that the EU does receive concrete proposals on all changes that the United Kingdom would like to see, of course in compatibility with the withdrawal agreement.”
It paves the way for a snap general election, now almost certain to take place in November, after opposition parties agreed to deny Mr Johnson the two-thirds majority he needs on Monday to trigger a general election before his “do or die” Brexit deadline of 31 October.
Mr Johnson said it will “scupper” his chances of negotiating a Brexit deal with the EU, by giving Brussels confidence that the UK will not crash out without a deal at the end of next month.
He kicked 21 lawmakers out of his Conservative Party’s parliamentary group earlier this week for working with opposition parties in the House of Commons to pass the legislation against the government’s wishes.
Johnson says Britain must now hold a national election on Oct. 15 to let voters decide who they want to negotiate Britain’s EU exit at a summit in Brussels later that week.
Opposition parties have so far rejected his call for an election, which would require the backing of two-thirds of the lower chamber’s 650 lawmakers, saying they are not willing to let him dictate the timing of such a vote.
Opposition blocks snap elections
Also on Friday, Opoosite parties rejects mr johnson’s attemt to call a general election before an EU summit in October. Calling a general election requires the backing of two thirds of the House of Commons.
Johnson had been demanding a new election before a summit with the EU in October. However, Labour and other opposition parties said they would not support such a plan unless they had assurances that the prime minister would not force a no-deal Brexit.
Following the meeting with Labour, the Scottish National Party and Welsh party Plaid Cymru, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats said that “as a group we will all vote against or abstain on Monday.”
Labour had originally said they would support an election once the bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit at the end of October had become law, but now it says it wants to see the delay to Brexit secured before an election is held.