|Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces two pivotal Brexit votes in the British parliament today that will decide if he can deliver on his pledge to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union in just nine days’ time.
As the clock ticks down to the latest Oct. 31 deadline for the United Kingdom’s departure, Brexit is hanging in the balance as a divided parliament debates when, how and even whether it should happen.
After he was forced by opponents into the humiliation of asking the EU for a delay that he had promised he would never ask for, Johnson is battling to ram legislation through the House of Commons that will enact his last-minute Brexit deal.
In yet another day of high Brexit drama, lawmakers vote around 1800 GMT on the 115-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill and then vote on the government’s extremely tight timetable for approving the legislation.
Defeat in either vote would scupper Johnson’s plans to leave the EU – “do or else die” – on Oct. 31. He would then have to decide whether to abide by a law that demands he accept any Brexit delay offered by the EU or somehow leave without a divorce deal.
Victory, while an imperfect indicator of possible support, would simply open up another opportunity for opponents to ambush the government with amendments that could wreck the Johnson’s plans.
Under the government’s current plans, the legislation would be rushed through the House of Commons in just three days.