Brexit: MEPs postpone decision on Brexit agreement

British MPs have adopted a controversial amendment that requires Boris Johnson to ask Europe for a new deadline for Brexit. The Prime Minister will postpone his vote until next week.

New rebound in the Brexit file. While a favorable majority for Boris Johnson seemed to be emerging in the British House of Representatives on Saturday, the vote on the agreement negotiated between London and Brussels has suffered another blow .

It is not the choice of the government but that of the members who adopted, by a slight majority (332 votes to 306), an amendment of the Conservative Oliver Letwin. This forced the Parliament not to adopt the agreement, as long as the complex legislative procedures that must lead to an orderly exit did not succeed.

Towards a postponement to next week

Specifically, it was to fill a legal loophole of the Benn law, which requires Boris Johnson to ask for a new deadline to Europe if no agreement is voted. However, an adoption of the agreement this Saturday would have made this law obsolete and Oliver Letwin feared that the procedure can finally derail next week, during legislative procedures. And finally lead to a “no deal” on October 31st.

A legal and technical subtlety that requires, in theory, Boris Johnson to request a new deadline, for lack of time to pass the agreement by January 31. The latter, who suffered a severe setback, nevertheless recalled that he would refuse to ask for a new deadline, just after the vote on the amendment.

Exit still possible at October 31?

According to the British media, the executive will postpone the vote until next Tuesday. He could have maintained it on Saturday night but its adoption would have been only relative and the content could have been largely amended during the next sessions. By postponing the vote, the Prime Minister hopes to increase the pressure around the undecided, including Labor MPs, elected in constituencies where Brexit is popular.

This decision does not necessarily bury the possibility of an exit on October 31 but makes it very complicated because the time may be missing to achieve it.