UK lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday in favor of delaying Prime Minister Boris Johnson's much-publicized Brexit plan. The House of Commons passed the bill in a 327-to-299 bill.
Johnson had vowed to push for a general election on Oct. 14 if his opponents in Parliament were successful in passing no-deal legislation but that motion was rejected.
Appointed prime minister in late July, Johnson has been adamant on the idea that he would pull the country out of the European Union by Oct. 31, with or without an agreed-upon exit deal.
But on Tuesday, he suffered a major defeat losing control of the Brexit agenda. Opposition to Johnson's exit plan has been building for weeks. Member of Parliament Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats Tuesday causing the Conservative Johnson to lose his slim working majority in the House of Commons.
Lee said the U.K. government was pursuing Brexit in “damaging” and “unprincipled” ways that would put “lives and livelihoods at risk.” His decision was met with applause.
And in a letter to Johnson, Lee said the impact on the Conservative Party because of the Brexit divisions have “sadly transformed this once great party into something more akin to a narrow faction in which one's Conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wants to leave the European Union. ... It has become infected by the twin diseases of English nationalism and populism.”
“Britain is revolted by you," he continued.
Until recently, Johnson insisted there was “real momentum” behind Brexit talks, per the BBC, and issued an ultimatum to deter any defectors, cautioning them to vote for his exit plan or effectively get booted from the party.
But a wave of opposition slowed that momentum. Many officials, including former Tory Parliamentary Member Sarah Wollaston, crossed party lines to stop Johnson’s plan.