Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AFP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AFP

UK election tipped after Brexit vote

Boris Johnson has paused his Brexit deal after losing a vote that would have seen Britain leave the European Union on October 31.

The House of Commons passed Mr Johnson's deal but refused to agree to his fast tracked timeline, 322 to 308, to get it done by next week's deadline.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AP

The PM did overnight what Theresa May was unable to do in three years - get a majority in the Commons to actually leave the EU.

Johnson said it was "joyful" that MPs had finally "embraced a deal"

But minutes later the PM lost his vote 308 - 322 on the crucial timetable motion, leaving his promise to get the UK out of the bloc by Halloween in tatters.

Furious MPs had claimed they didn't have enough time to look at the 100 page bill.

Johnson has threatened to pull the whole Brexit Bill if he's forced into a three month delay to Brexit.

The European Union already has a request for a Brexit extension until January 31.

Now Britain is likely to head towards a general election before Christmas.

Scottish MPs now want a new independence vote.

It comes as Brussels held firm and again refused to guarantee they would offer another Brexit delay, and said they would wait to see the outcome of today's Commons clash

At the start of a titanic clash in the Commons, Johnson said in a dramatic address to MPs: "I will in no way allow months more of this.

"If parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen and instead gets its way to delay until January, in no way can the Government continue with this.

"And with great regret the bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a General Election."

But an election - which there is no guarantee that MPs would vote for - would mean Johnson breaks his do-or-die promise to leave the EU on October 31 in order to go to the polls.

"We can get Brexit done and move our country forward," defiant Johnson stressed.

"I believe if we do this deal, pass this deal and the legislation that enables it, we can turn the page and allow this parliament and this country to heal and unite."

Demonstrators wave lit up pro-EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Getty
Demonstrators wave lit up pro-EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Getty


The "prize" of Brexit was "on the table" and the country is pleading with MPs now to get it done, he stressed.

The public "will not be deceived" by Remainer MPs who say they want to debate our EU exit but actually just want to stop it, he insisted.

The PM spent an hour in the Commons making a series of promises to MPs over workers' rights, consumer rights and Northern Ireland.

Johnson promised too that the "whole House" would have a say in Britain's future trade deal with the bloc - a key demand of rebels who are threatening to withhold their support.

However, the PM's spokesperson warned earlier: "Voting down the program motion has serious implications - it means legislation can drift on and on.

"Voting down the program motion risks handing control to the EU and making No Deal more likely."

The PM is expected to call EU leaders to make it clear that he still wants to leave on October 31 and no lengthy extensions should be offered.

But one Downing Street figure told the FT this afternoon that Johnson could accept a short delay if he loses, to beg the EU for a bit more time to sort the Bill out.