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Brexit deal undergoes a major test in the British parliament

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promises to oust Britain from the European Union on October 31 face an important test Tuesday in the British parliament, which is holding two first votes on the deal reached last week by London and Brussels.

Since returning from Brussels with a hard-negotiated withdrawal agreement with the 27 countries, the conservative prime minister has been in danger of thwarting his projects by lawmakers unwilling to pursue the approach he is trying to impose on them to avoid secession without an agreement nine days before the departure date or postponement.

While Johnson had hoped to ratify the Brexit agreement in the House of Commons on Saturday, lawmakers postponed the decision and forced him to ask Brussels for a three-month delay. Johnson also hopes to avoid delays.

Parliament’s approval of the exit deal is subject to the adoption of a technical law necessary to implement Brexit, a more complex process.

Two votes are expected on Tuesday evening: the first aims to provide initial support for the text that makes the exit agreement part of British law and the second includes the timetable for consideration.

The government wants the Brexit agreement to be adopted quickly, hoping to conclude on Thursday. The short deadline to vote on a 110-page bill (as well as longer explanatory notes) angered lawmakers and the vote seems elusive.

A positive vote on Tuesday will mark clear progress towards an orderly exit at the end of this month, but the legislative track is still full of obstacles in the coming days.

If the vote is negative on Tuesday, the chances of a final adoption of the law before the end of the month will diminish, boosting the likelihood of a “no deal” exit after more than a week. This could lead to border chaos and a shortage of food and medicine, which could encourage Europeans to give London a delay that could allow the current crisis to be resolved by early elections.

“I hope that parliament will vote today to regain control, so that he himself, the British people and the country can focus” on issues such as the “cost of living” and the health and environmental conservation system, Johnson said.

He said in a statement carried by his media office that the British “do not want to postpone at all. Europeans as well as me.”

– “False choice” –

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday morning deplored Britain’s planned exit from the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “At least we can say that we have done everything we can to ensure that this exit is organized,” he said.

The European Parliament will be the last body to vote on the Brexit agreement, as European MPs will wait for British MPs to vote on the withdrawal text.

If everything is ready in London, the European Parliament will hold an extraordinary session next week in Brussels, a spokesman said.

But in Westminster, the opposition is willing to introduce amendments that would radically change the exit deal, if adopted. An amendment prepared by the Labor Party provides for the establishment of a customs union with the European Union and another amendment proposes a new referendum.

Labor MP John McDonnell, in charge of economic issues in the Labor Party, wrote in an interview in the Daily Mirror that workers would “seize every opportunity” to “safeguard workers’ rights, protect our economy and make sure the people have the final say.”

He added that the deputies “have the opportunity to reject the false choice between the bad Boris Johnson agreement or come out without an agreement or support an agreement that suits everyone.”

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