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World What happened with Brexit on Super Saturday, and what happens next?

20:10  19 october  2019
20:10  19 october  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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What happens next in Parliament? Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street before Saturday 's vote. In the turmoil after the vote, the leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, indicated that the government would bring forward another vote on the deal on Monday.

Boris Johnson's bid for a ' Super Saturday ' on Brexit has ended in humiliation - and yet more delay. Here's what happened in the House of Commons and what comes next .

After three and a half years of torturous impasse, this was meant to be it.

Boris Johnson planned to put his new Brexit deal to a vote in Parliament, on a historic, emergency session that promised to finally bring clarity to the process.

But in the world of Brexit, nothing can be taken for granted. And sure enough, what was billed as Brexit's "Super Saturday" turned into yet another bout of can-kicking equivocation.

So what exactly happened -- and where do we go from here?

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Brexit : What happens now? By Peter Barnes Senior elections and political analyst, BBC News. 11 October 2019. Share this with Facebook. On 19 October for the first time this century MPs will sit in the House of Commons on a Saturday . That could be to vote on any deal, or to debate alternative

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street before Saturday's vote.© TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street before Saturday's vote.

What just happened?

The government's intention was to hold a straightforward vote on Johnson's deal, signed in Brussels on Thursday.

But its plans were scuppered when lawmakers passed an amendment crafted by former Conservative government minister Oliver Letwin, who has worked to prevent the UK from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

The amendment said Parliament would "withhold support" from Johnson's Brexit plan until after the other bits of legislation required to implement it are passed.

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The Brexitcast team tries to predict Boris Johnson's next move if MPs reject his Brexit deal. If MPs don't approve his deal, the prime minister is compelled by the Benn Act to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit process - something he has said he does not want to do.

With MPs meeting on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands conflict, how will the day unfold and what does it all mean?

Had Johnson won a vote on his plan on Saturday, he would have avoided the need to send a letter to the EU requesting an extension to the Brexit process until January 31. That letter is required by the "Benn Act," a piece of legislation designed to avoid a no-deal departure on October 31. It must be sent by 11 p.m. London time in the event that Parliament failed to approve a Brexit deal.

But Letwin and his allies were concerned that, if the deal was approved and the provisions of the Benn Act fell away, a chaotic departure could still happen by accident on October 31 if, by then, lawmakers had failed to pass the complex set of legislation that's required to enact the Brexit deal.

Dowing Street is very angry about this. Johnson has staked his political reputation on delivering Brexit by October 31.

So will Boris Johnson ask the EU for a delay?

Immediately after the vote, the Prime Minister seemed to imply that he would not. "I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so," he said. "Further delay will be bad for this country."

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– What happened with Brexit on Thursday? Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he had struck a “great new deal” ahead of a key summit of EU The Prime Minister put forward his formal Brexit plan to the EU on October 10 which sparked 10 days of intense negotiations. This came to a head on

– What happened with Brexit on Thursday? Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he had struck a “great new deal” ahead of a key summit of EU leaders in Brussels. The deal needs to be passed by Parliament with the Commons set for an extraordinary sitting on Saturday to go over the agreement.

But the law is clear: The government must send that letter. There is no ambiguity -- the Benn Act even sets out the wording of the letter.

And the Attorney General, the government's senior law officer, recently gave a written commitment to a Scottish court that the terms of the Benn Act would be followed.

In a bad-tempered briefing with journalists after the vote, the Prime Minister's official spokesman refused repeatedly to say whether Johnson would send the letter, or whether someone else in the government would send the letter, or whether the the government would flout the law and not send the letter at all. "Governments comply with the law," was all the spokesman would say.

It is possible of course, that the words of the Prime Minister and those of his spokesman were not incompatible.

Johnson was careful to say that he would not "negotiate" a delay with the EU. That allows some wriggle room. Johnson -- or an official in his government -- could send the letter to the EU, but not engage with the EU any further on it. The Prime Minister could also send another letter stating that government policy is to leave the EU on October 31.

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What happens if the deal passes? If the Prime Minister is successful in Westminster, it paves the way for the UK to leave on October 31. The Prime Minister would need to find a further majority for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in order to put Brexit on the statute books.

There is also, of course, an outside chance that Johnson breaks the law and doesn't send the letter at all -- in which case, Brexit will be back in the courts on Monday.

What happens next in Parliament?

In the turmoil after the vote, the leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, indicated that the government would bring forward another vote on the deal on Monday.

"In the light of today's decision I should like to inform the house that Monday's business will now be a debate on the motion relation to Section 13 -1B of the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 and I shall make a further business statement on Monday," he said.

Rees-Mogg was referring to a section of the Withdrawal Act that provides for a vote in the House of Commons on the result of a negotiated agreement with the European Union -- a so-called "meaningful vote." Theresa May had three of those, and lost all of them.

Ordinarily, the same provision can't be voted on twice in the same parliamentary session. That convention scuppered May's plans to hold a fourth vote on her withdrawal deal. The Speaker, John Bercow said he would rule on the matter on Monday.

Is it more or less likely that Johnson will get his Brexit deal passed?

The result of the Letwin amendment is that Johnson was robbed of a straight up-or-down vote on his Brexit deal. Had the Prime Minister been able to get the deal through the House of Commons, against all the odds, it would have been a moment of particularly sweet victory.

Downing Street aides are furious, since they believed that they had enough votes in the bag, even without the 10 MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party, whom Johnson abandoned when they refused to sign up to his deal earlier this week.

All eyes turn to Monday's vote, when the government will hope that it can demonstrate parliamentary backing for Johnson's bill. But the fact is, to get Brexit done by October 31, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly promised, he must now get all the stages of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the House of Commons, the House of Lords and get it in front the Queen for Royal Assent. Only then will the provisions of the Benn Act fall away.

Since he threw out 21 members of his own party for voting in favour of the Benn Act, Johnson has a majority in Parliament of mninus 40. And the Democratic Unionist Party, which nominally props up his minority. government, is furious at being ditched.

As Johnson's predecessor Theresa May found out to her cost, getting controversial legislation through the House of Commons when you don't have a majority is notoriously difficult.

EU hopes to endorse Brexit delay to January 31 with earlier departure possible: sources .
EU hopes to endorse Brexit delay to January 31 with earlier departure possible: sourcesBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week reluctantly requested the three-month delay until the end of January 2020, after the parliament's lower House of Commons refused to swiftly approve a new Brexit deal he had agreed with the bloc.

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