- The House of Commons votes by 315 to 274 to back an amendment designed to block Boris Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.
- Johnson has insisted he will take Britain out of the EU on October 31 "do or die."
- One plan he has refused to rule out, would be to suspend parliament in the run-up to Britain’s exit in order to prevent MPs from blocking a no-deal exit.
- However, the amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill will force members of Parliament to sit in the days running up to the end of October.
- A number of ministers abstained on the vote.
The House of Commons has voted to block Boris Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit by passing an amendment which is designed to prevent him from suspending parliament in order to leave the EU at the end of October.
Johnson, who is the strong favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister next week, has insisted that he will take Britain out of the EU "do or die" by the UK’s scheduled exit date of October 31.
However, MPs on Thursday voted by 315 to 274 to back an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill, which is designed to force parliament to remain open in the days and weeks running up to that date.
The amendment, brought forward by Labour MP Hilary Benn, obliges MPs to sit on certain dates at the end of October.
Northern Ireland Minister John Penrose described the vote as "a stitch up" and warned that Parliament would be seen as attempting to thwart voters’ democratic will to leave the EU.
Those backing the amendment believe that time is running out to prevent a no-deal Brexit. One former Conservative minister, who backed the amendment, told Business Insider that his colleagues felt they had "to stand up and be counted."
"There are not many opportunities in terms of time and mechanisms. If anything, it is too little too late," they told Business Insider.
They added that defeating the government on Thursday would be a "show of strength" that could deter Johnson from pursuing no-deal.
"If he doesn’t feel he can get away with it, he won’t go for it… You can change the way he calculates his options by showing strength," the former minister said.
Anti-Brexit MPs welcomed the result.
"MPs from across the House, and with differing views on Brexit, have come together to stand up for the sovereignty of the British Parliament," Labour MP and Best for Britain campaign supporter David Lammy said.
"Parliament must never bow down to attempts to silence its voice. Any effort to shut it down to force through a no-deal Brexit is a direct attack on our Parliamentary democracy. We will continue to resist as we have here."
Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out the prospect of suspending parliament, and is reportedly considering a plan to hold a Queen’s Speech in November, which would shut down the Commons while the UK left the EU and prevent MPs from being able to act.
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