The government has been defeated in the Commons after MPs backed the Letwin amendment by 322 to 306. The vote means Brexit could be delayed until the withdrawal bill and all relevant legislation has come into force. Ten ex-Tory rebels, including Philip Hammond, Dominic Grieve and Amber Rudd, voted against the government.
The Prime Minister responded to the defeat by saying the ‘opportunity to have a meaningful vote has been passed up’. Boris Johnson also insisted he would not negotiate a delay to Brexit with the European Union. The PM told the Commons:
‘I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law require me to do so,’
Oliver Letwin reacted to the vote by insisting that he still wanted Britain to leave the EU on 31 October. He added that the amendment would mean the UK would not exit without a deal should something go ‘wrong’ between now and the end of the month.
The DUP’s Nigel Dodds, who voted against the government, said the decision will give ‘further time’ to consider Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill.
It now means that there will be no ‘meaningful vote’ on the Brexit deal today.