UK House of Lords approves bill to block no-deal Brexit

London, Sep 6 (IANS) The United Kingdom’s upper house of Parliament on Friday passed a bill that will force Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party government to seek a Brexit extension and rule out a no-deal Brexit if it is unable to secure a deal with the EU.
The House of Lords passed the bill unopposed, as had been expected, Efe news reported.
It had already made its way through the lower House of Commons in what was a major defeat for the PM and is expected to be written into law on Monday, just before Parliament is suspended for five-weeks.
It comes as another blow for Johnson, who has now effectively lost control of the parliamentary agenda.
Opposition MPs came together to submit the bill in a bid to force the PM into taking the option of a no-deal Brexit of the table. Johnson had held onto the possibility as leverage in the EU negotiations.
His decision to prorogue Parliament from mid-September to 14 October riled opposition MPs, who saw its as a move to prevent them from passing any legislation that would force his hand on the no-deal option.
The bill’s passage through the Lords marks an end to a tumultuous week in British politics.
Earlier in the week, opposition MPs, led by the Labour Party, seized the parliamentary agenda with a motion, effectively meaning they are now in control of submitting policies to votes rather than the government.
On Wednesday, they submitted the bill to block no-deal, which sailed through the Commons 327 votes to 299.
Johnson was forced to fire 21 Tory MPs who joined voting to sink his policy, meaning he has lost his working majority.
The PM’s bid to slate an early election has also been blocked by the loose coalition of opposition parties, who do not want Johnson to have decision-making power in that regard.
The bill now means that if Johnson fails to secure the tweaks he wants to the withdrawal bill at a European Council meeting on October 17-18, then he is legally bound to request a delay.

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