By postponing a vote on Boris Johnsonâ€™s Brexit deal, MPs have only complicated Britainâ€™s divorce from the EU, and in the case of Labour, stacked their own â€œelectoral funeral pyres,â€? former parliamentarian George Galloway told RT.
Opposition MPs and protesters in the streets of London celebrated the passing of the so-called Letwin amendment earlier on Saturday. The amendment to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal requires Johnson to seek an extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline from the EU, so that formal ratification legislation can be debated and passed in both Houses of Parliament.
For the 322 MPs who voted in favour of Letwin, their victory was “pyrrhic,” Galloway told RT. The former lawmaker called the amendment a “childish, schoolboy jape” aimed at “frustrating the will of the British people,” who simply want Britain’s exit from the EU to be over and done with.
For Labour too, the decision to back an amendment authored by Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin – an architect of Margaret Thatcher’s much-maligned Poll Tax in the 1980s – “is now very clear for everyone to see,” he continued.
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Though required to do so following the passage of the Letwin amendment, Boris Johnson has signaled that he will not seek an extension from Brussels, and insisted that he is not compelled by the law to do so. European Commission officials said earlier that they are now awaiting Johnson’s next move.
“I don’t believe that Boris Johnson will ask for an extension,” Galloway said. Even if he did, there might not be unanimous support in the EU’s Council of Ministers to grant him one, Galloway added.
“They said that Johnson wanted no deal, and then he got a deal,” the former Scottish lawmaker said, referring to Remainers in parliament. “They said that they were holding out, because they could not countenance for a moment the threat to peace in Ireland, and then Ireland got behind the deal.”
“Indeed, but for the backwoodsmen of the DUP, every party – including SInn Fein – are now fully behind the deal. Brussels and the EU are behind the deal.”
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With the tides in Johnson’s favor, Galloway sees the British Parliament finding a way to pass the deal before October 31. Failing that, Remainers could be faced with the ironic result of leaving without a deal at all, “the very thing that today’s parliamentary opposition always claimed they wanted least of all.”
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