UK PM Johnson will not allow changes to Brexit deal, says spokesman

Boris Johnson will try to push his deal again today, and wants no changes. — Reuters pic
Boris Johnson will try to push his deal again today, and wants no changes. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Oct 21 — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants his Brexit deal to be passed by parliament, his spokesman said today, warning lawmakers the government would not hold a vote on the agreement if lawmakers tried to change it.

Having been denied a straight ‘yes or no’ vote on his Brexit deal on Saturday because lawmakers voted instead to delay that decision, Johnson wants to try again today.

The vote can only be held with the agreement of Speaker John Bercow, who may decide it is against the rules to do so because parliament has already considered a motion to approve the deal.

“The meaningful vote will go ahead if the speaker allows it and if no amendments are selected which would render the vote pointless. There is not point having a meaningless vote, the government would pull the motion,” the spokesman told reporters.

“The public want Brexit done. The government is determined to pass the PM’s great new deal and get us out of the EU on Oct. 31 ... The deal with the EU has just been agreed, it is done, it is closed,” he said.

“The negotiations with the EU have already gone on far too long. The prime minister has achieved what is a very good deal and he is focused on getting that deal through parliament.”

The spokesman said the government would introduce the legislation required for Britain’s departure to parliament tomorrow, the start of a process when lawmakers can again try to force fundamental changes to the deal, including remaining in the EU’s customs union or for a second referendum.

The government has ruled out both of those options.

“If essentially the legislation in the House of Commons steps too far away from what was agreed in the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration, that does bring into question ratification,” the spokesman said. — Reuters

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