Brexit: Johnson begins a tough battle to persuade UK parliament

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to London on Friday to try to persuade parliament to approve the Brexit deal with the European Union.

For the first time since the Falkland War in 1982, the House of Commons will hold an extraordinary session on Saturday.

Johnson, who came to power at the end of July, lost his majority in the House of Commons and has only 288 deputies, but needs 320 votes to pass the deal.

If he fails to get a positive vote in parliament, Johnson will have to ask Brussels to postpone a new Brexit for three months under a law passed by lawmakers in early September in the House of Commons, including 21 Conservative Party defectors.

Johnson, in Brussels on Thursday along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, expressed “full confidence” in the adoption of the agreement.

“I have the hope that when MPs from all parties are considering the agreement, they will see the benefits of supporting it,” he said. Johnson had always insisted that he would apply Brexit, which was postponed twice, on October 31, no matter what happens.

Immediately after the publication of the agreement, the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party, which secures Johnson’s conservative majority, rejected it.

The party, which holds 10 seats in parliament, said it was “unable to support these proposals” on customs settlement issues and the Northern Ireland government’s approval of the Brexit draft.

Later Juncker warned that the situation would become “very complicated” if the British parliament on Saturday rejected the agreement reached Thursday between Britain and the European Union.

“If this happens, we will find ourselves in a very complicated situation,” he told reporters at the end of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.

The leader of the Labor Party, Britain’s most prominent opposition organization, which has 244 deputies, called on deputies to “reject” the agreement between London and the European Union.

According to party leader Jeremy Corbyn, “the best way to resolve Brexit is to give the people the final say” in a second referendum, while 52 percent of voters voted to leave the EU three years ago.

The agreement was also opposed by Scottish independence lists (35 deputies) and Liberal Democrats (19 deputies) who favor staying in the EU.

A tough battle

These positions foreshadow a difficult battle for Johnson in parliament, where former Prime Minister Theresa May has failed three times to pass the agreement it negotiated with Brussels. On Thursday, Johnson intensified contacts with deputies, according to the British government presidency and will continue to persuade them on Friday.

“We must take responsibilities in this Council and implement what has been decided in a referendum and what the various governments we have negotiated with have supported,” said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The agreement was reached after weeks of intense negotiations focused on amending arrangements to keep the border open between Northern Ireland and the EU member Republic of Ireland.


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