World

Johnson loses another vote, vows to get new Brexit deal

LONDON: Beleaguered British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to continue his attempts to strike a new Brexit deal with Brussels, after losing yet another vote yesterday during a chaotic parliamentary session.

Mr Johnson slammed the opposition for voting against his call for a snap election in the final minutes of a stormy late-night debate, ahead of a controversial suspension of Parliament that he had called for.

He said he would "strive to get an agreement" at a summit in Brussels next month - the alternative being a "no-deal" departure that critics warn would spark economic chaos.

Mr Johnson accused his opponents of shirking their duty by blocking an early election.

He held a Cabinet meeting late yesterday to plot his next move after a series of defections and expulsions left him far short of a parliamentary majority and unable to garner enough votes from MPs to hold an early election.

As the current session drew to a close early yesterday, opposition Labour MPs waved signs reading "silenced" and shouted "Shame on you!" at government lawmakers during a ceremony for the suspension of Parliament.

The move is normally a simple formality but Mr Johnson was accused of acting high-handedly by calling an extended suspension as the Brexit date looms.

House of Commons speaker John Bercow earlier in the debate announced he would be stepping down in a strongly worded speech in which he warned the government against trying to "degrade" Parliament.

Mr Johnson also lost a separate vote, calling on the government to publish confidential papers about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit. - AFP

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