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Johnson will pull vote on Brexit agreement if amendment strengthening legislation against no-deal passes — reports

Johnson will pull vote on Brexit agreement if amendment strengthening legislation against no-deal passes — reports
Saturday’s crunch Brexit vote has been placed in jeopardy as UK PM Boris Johnson will reportedly pull a vote on his EU Withdrawal Deal should MPs greenlight an amendment bolstering the legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The amendment was put forward by former Conservative Cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin. As the House of Commons meets on a Saturday for the first time this century, speaker John Bercow has already confirmed that he had selected the amendment in question for a vote. The bill is expected to garner wide backing from lawmakers.

The Letwin amendment would withhold support for the prime minister’s Brexit deal until not only MPs, but also Lords have passed the formal ratification legislation. That will require time. Johnson has already said that if the Letwin amendment goes through, he fears that a vote on his deal won’t be "meaningful” anymore.

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In that case, reports say, Downing Street will tell Tory MPs that they can go home rather than stay to take part in the vote on Johnson’s agreement with the EU.

The reason for the PM’s pessimism is that if Letwin’s proposal is indeed a success, he will be forced to ask the EU for another extension of Brexit due to the Benn Act – dubbed the Surrender Bill by Brexiteers. It requires asking the EU for an extension if MPs fail to agree on Johnson’s deal this Saturday.

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In fact, the Letwin amendment was aimed at closing any potential loopholes in the Benn Act, which was designed to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

If Letwin’s bill fails, MPs would vote on Johnson’s deal. However, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had already urged MPs to reject it, saying the latest agreement with the EU is worse than former Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal and Johnson’s government can’t be trusted. A spokesperson for the party also confirmed it would vote in favor of the Letwin amendment.

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