Rebel/Opposition lawmakers defeated the government in seizing control of parliamentary proceedings
The government lost the key vote by 328 to 301 which means that rebel/opposition lawmakers will now look to try and pass a bill seeking to delay Brexit beyond 31 October 2019.
Johnson has already said that he would bring forward an election motion (said to be for 15 October) but so far opposition lawmakers aren’t taking the bait as they want the extension bill above to be passed before any election.
So, where does that leave us now?
Lawmakers introduce cross-party bill to seek Brexit extension
Time is the major factor here but it seems that rebel/opposition lawmakers seem confident that they can get one through by Monday, seeking the government to request for an Article 50 extension until 31 January 2020.
However, a key issue is that we’ll have to see how legally binding the law will be as the government may choose to just ignore the legislation – which would then present some legal complications on its own accord.
That said, even if the government follows through with the request, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a no-deal Brexit is averted. The ball will head back to the European Union’s court and without any firm plan to get a deal done or good reason to extend Article 50, will European leaders agree to kick the can down the road again?
Boris Johnson calls for early election
Any election motion requires two-thirds majority (434 of 650 votes) to succeed. The catch here is that Johnson would prefer not to set a date on the election so he could possibly look to shift it beyond 31 October – after Brexit is achieved – but he may not have much choice if he can’t garner the needed two-thirds majority.
As such, he could just instead fix an election date for 15 October and through a shorter law seek a simple majority to pass an election motion.
However, it remains to be seen if opposition lawmakers will still let Johnson get what he wants before any Brexit extension bill is passed before Monday.
Other possible scenarios
But otherwise, if rebel/opposition lawmakers can’t get a bill passed in time, expect them to call a no-confidence motion in the government anyway in what would be a last-ditch effort to try and prevent a no-deal Brexit from taking place.