Sept. 9 (UPI) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s effort to hold an early election to solve an impasse on whether to leave the European Union without a deal was defeated again on Monday.
Johnson’s bid for a new election failed as Parliament voted 293-46 in favor of the resolution, falling short of the 434 votes required to acquire two-thirds majority from the House of Commons for the election to take place.
The prime minister criticized the House of Commons for dismissing his insistence that they “trust the people” to decide the issue in a new vote.
“They want the British prime minister to go to a vital negotiation without the power to walk away,” Johnson said. “They want to delay Brexit yet again, without further reference to those who voted for it.”
Earlier Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II gave final approval Monday to a bill that blocks Johnson from completing the departure from the European Union without a sanctioned agreement — just hours before Parliament was set to enter a period of suspension that will last until nearly the deadline.
The queen approved the law by Royal Assent, a means by which a British monarch can authorize legislation. Her approval came just hours before Johnson’s ordered suspension for Parliament was to begin. Lawmakers won’t return until Oct. 14.
Some critics had said Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament was an effort to pre-empt legislation to block Britain from leaving on Oct. 31 without an agreement.
Due to the hiatus, the government will lose at least nine business days. The prorogation of Parliament is legal and represents the longest such period in modern history.
Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the decision, saying Johnson made no commitment to obeying the law.
“He did not say, acknowledge or accept three votes that have taken place have taken place in this parliament and under his request, the House is now due — apparently this evening — to be prorogued for one of the longest prorogations in history, simply in order to avoid any questioning of what he is doing or not doing,” Corbyn said. “This government is a disgrace.”
Commons speaker John Bercow said in an emotional announcement Monday he will step down by Oct. 31, at the latest. He said he will stay until the deadline to minimize disruption.
“I wish my successor the very best fortune in standing up for the rights of [members of Parliament] individually and for parliament institutionally,” Bercow said.
Corbyn said the British democracy is stronger because of Bercow’s “superb” record.
“As somebody who aspires to hold executive office, I like the idea of a powerful parliament holding the executive to account,” he said. “It’s something I’ve spent the last 35 years doing myself.”
Earlier Monday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned Johnson against leaving without a deal — saying there would be no “clean break.” He added that he favors the withdrawal agreement presented by former Prime Minister Theresa May, which was ratified by all EU states except Britain.
“If there is no deal, I believe that’s possible, it will cause severe disruption for British and Irish people alike,” Varadkar said. “We will have to get back to the negotiating table. When we do, the first and only items on the agenda will be citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border.”
Last week, Parliament voted on legislation to block a no-deal exit, and Conservative Party lawmakers who voted for the bill were expelled by Johnson.