UK lawmakers reject Brexit law timetable, putting Oct. 31 exit in doubt
British lawmakers have rejected the government's fast-track attempt to pass its Brexit bill within days. Legislators voted 322-308 against a timetable that gave the House of Commons just three days to debate the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.
British lawmakers rejected the government's proposed timetable for passing legislation to ratify its Brexit deal on Tuesday, leaving Prime Minister Boris Johnson's vow to leave the European Union by the end of the month in doubt.
Lawmakers voted by 322 to 308 against the so-called programme motion, under which the government had proposed to pass the legislation at an accelerated speed. Many lawmakers said it did not give them enough time to scrutinise such an important bill.
The vote likely makes it impossible for Johnson to fulfil his vow to take Britain out of the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31.
The outcome meant lawmakers want more time to scrutinize the complex legislation.
That throws Prime Minister Boris Johnson's exit timetable into chaos.
He now has two choices.
He could agree to give lawmakers more time, which would need a delay to Brexit of at least a few weeks.
Or, as he has threatened, he could pull the bill and try to get lawmakers to vote for a general election that could break the political impasse.
In both cases the EU must agree to delay Britain's departure.