Thu | Nov 14, 2019

British PM warns of new election if Brexit bill is rejected

Published:Tuesday | October 22, 2019 | 11:13 AM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons, London during the debate for the European Union Withdrawal Agreement Bill: Second Reading. Tuesday, October 22, 2019. (House of Commons/via AP)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that if lawmakers reject his accelerated three-day timetable for Brexit bill he will pull it and seek an election.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Johnson told lawmakers that if they rejected the timetable, “the bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a general election.”

British lawmakers from across the political spectrum had been plotting Tuesday to put the brakes on Johnson’s drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days, potentially scuttling the government’s hopes of delivering Brexit by October 31.

Johnson’s announcement piles pressure on lawmakers as they consider whether to approve the government’s legislation, which would finally take Britain out of the EU — more than three years after voters opted to leave the bloc.

The bill faces two votes Tuesday, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government’s schedule for debate and possible amendments.

Johnson said backing the bill would allow lawmakers to “turn the page and allow this Parliament and this country to begin to heal and unite.”

While many analysts expect the bill to be approved, lawmakers may reject the three-day timetable because of concerns it doesn’t provide enough time for scrutiny of the 115-page document, which sets out the terms of Britain’s departure from the 28-nation bloc.

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