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Brexit: Johnson defeated as MPs take control in Commons

The new Prime Minister suffered his first Commons defeat and will now push for a general election.

Boris Johnson: Government defeated 328 to 301.
Boris Johnson: Government defeated 328 to 301. Getty

Opposition and rebel Conservative MPs have voted to seize control of Commons business in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit, in a blow for Boris Johnson.

The government was defeated by 328 votes to 301 in a motion to allow MPs to take control of the parliamentary agenda on Wednesday.

They will use that time to try to pass a law designed to further delay Brexit and prevent the UK from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

In response, Johnson said he would bring forward a motion for an early general election.

It was the first vote of his premiership and it resulted in a heavy first defeat, with 21 members of his own party defying him to back the motion.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister lost his majority of one when MP Philip Lee defected and physically crossed over to the Lib Dem benches during a statement by Johnson to the Commons.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1440469-suspending-parliament-considered-as-early-as-mid-august/ | default

Tuesday night's vote paves the way for no-deal opponents to introduce a Bill on Wednesday which would force the prime minister to ask for Brexit to be delayed until January 31, unless MPs approve a new deal or no-deal by October 19.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that legislation should be passed before any snap election is called.

But Johnson insisted the cross-party Bill, if passed into law, would "hand control" of Brexit negotiations to the EU and cause "more dither, more delay".

He told the Commons he was left with no choice but to pursue an October election, saying: "The consequences of this vote tonight means that Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal that we might be able to get in Brussels.

"It will hand control of the negotiations to the EU."

The PM continued: "I don't want an election but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop the negotiations and to compel another pointless delay of Brexit, potentially for years, then that will be the only way to resolve this.

"I can confirm that tonight we will are tabling a motion under the Fixed-term Parliament Act."

"The people of this country will have to choose," he added.

Number 10 confirmed all 21 Conservative rebels will have the party whip withdrawn, making them all independent MPs - including ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond, former ministers David Gauke and Rory Stewart and father of the House Ken Clarke.

No Scottish Tory MPs were counted among the rebels.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1440474-sturgeon-to-request-powers-for-indyref2-before-end-of-year/ | default

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