Anti-Brexit MPs score major victory in preventing a forced no-deal

PUBLISHED: 13:49 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:26 18 July 2019

An anti-Brexit demonstrator holding the European Union and England flags outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski.

An anti-Brexit demonstrator holding the European Union and England flags outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski.

PA Wire/PA Images

An amendment aimed at preventing the forcing through of a no-deal Brexit has passed in the House of Commons by 41 votes, in a major defeat for the government.

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Tory rebels defied a three-line whip in order to back an amendment tabled by Hilary Benn and a cross-party group of MPs.

The amendement, which passed by 315 votes to 274, requires parliament to meet at regular intervals, theoretically making prorogation of parliament impossible.

The amendment comes after Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt indicated that they have not ruled out the controversial move of suspending parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

According to Sky News, ministers defying the government included: David Gauke, Greg Clark, Caroline Noakes, Karen Bradley, and Rory Stewart.

The Office for Budget Responsibility gave further weight to concerns about this, warnings that a no-deal Brexit could cause a recession, plunge the UK in £30 billion of debt, and cause a crash in house prices.

No-deal Brexit could cause a recession, says Office for Budget Responsibility

Debating in favour of the amendment, Labour former minister Angela Eagle said the current parliamentary session is the longest since the English Civil War, adding: "We are contemplating a new Tory prime minister who seems to believe he can behave like a Stuart king."

Labour MP David Lammy, who supports anti-Brexit campaign Best for Britain, said: "MPs from across the House, and with differing views on Brexit, have come together to stand up for the sovereignty of the British Parliament.

"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."

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Ministers who voted against the government will be expected to resign from their posts, while MPs who did so may have the whip removed.

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