Brexit: MPs approve measure to block Parliament shutdown

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MPs pass amendment seeking to thwart no-deal Brexit prorogation

MPs have voted in favour of a measure that could block efforts by the next prime minister to force through a no-deal Brexit by suspending Parliament.

The Commons voted by a majority of 41 to approve an amendment put forward by Labour’s Hilary Benn and former minister Alistair Burt.

A backbench amendment intended to beef up attempts by MPs to stop a future government from proroguing parliament in order to ensure a no-deal Brexit has been passed by 41 votes in a potentially crucial decision by the Commons.

The amendment, tabled by a cross-party group of more than 20 MPs, led by Labour’s Hilary Benn and the Conservatives’ Alistair Burt, and passed by 315 to 274 sought to beef up earlier amendments made to an otherwise-technical Northern Ireland bill.

When the bill was first considered by the Commons MPs passed by a single vote an earlier amendment by Grieve intended to make it more difficult for a future government to prorogue, or suspend, parliament to prevent MPs blocking no deal.

ANALYSIS: Johnson may find run for PM the easy bit

Remain MPs have launched a pre-emptive strike against Boris Johnson, showing the likely next prime minister he’s in for as rough a ride in the Commons as his predecessor.

In practical terms, today’s vote makes it harder for Parliament to be suspended to force through no-deal and creates breathing space to potentially block it altogether.

Johnson will still have to work with a tiny majority in the Commons. Fewer than five Tory MPs voting against the Government will cause a real headache for the next PM.

 

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