London, Sep 10 (IANS) The UK’s Lower House of Parliament or House of Commons on Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls for a snap election, as the motion to trigger the balloting failed to obtain the needed majority for the second time in less than a week.
Johnson required a two-thirds majority to trigger the nation-wide elections, but his proposal on Monday night only garnered the support of 293 of the 434 lawmakers needed for it to pass, reports Efe news.
Following the vote, Parliament was officially suspended, or prorogued, just before 2 a.m. on Tuesday and will reopen on October 14.
Parliament’s suspension means MPs will not get another chance to vote for an early election until they return, meaning a poll would not be possible until November at the earliest.
Opposition MPs had said they would not back Johnson’s push for an early election because a law blocking a no-deal Brexit needed to be implemented first.
Johnson on Monday accused Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn of “preposterous cowardice” and said he was the first opposition leader in the UK’s history to reject the opportunity to let British voters decide in an election.
Corbyn, on the other hand, said Johnson could not be allowed to dictate the terms of an election without first taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.
The Prime Minister reiterated his stance that he would not ask the European Union (EU) for a new extension to the date of Brexit’s implementation.
At present, the UK law states that the country will leave the European Union (EU) on October 31, regardless of whether a withdrawal deal has been agreed with Brussels or not.
But a new legislation, which was granted royal assent on Monday, changes that and will force the Prime Minister to seek a delay to January 31, 2020 unless a deal, or a no-deal exit, is approved by MPs by October 19.
“If honourable members want a delay, the only proper way to do it is to ask permission from our masters the people, from our masters the voters,” Johnson said in Parliament ahead of the vote.
“No matter how many devices this parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest.
“This government will not delay Brexit any further. We will not allow the emphatic verdict of the referendum to be slowly suffocated by further calculated drift and paralysis.”
Ahead of Tuesday’s development, Labour, the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the Independent Group for Change and Plaid Cymru met on Monday morning and agreed not to back the motion for an election.