In Summary
  • Many MPs are opposed to Johnson's threat to end Britain's EU membership at the end of next month without agreeing any new arrangements.
  • MPs rejected the current agreement three times earlier this year, in large part because of its provisions to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

British MPs voted Monday to demand Prime Minister Boris Johnson release confidential documents relating to Britain's EU exit, during a final day of defiance before he suspends their session until just weeks before Brexit.

MPs voted by 311 to 302 for a motion by a rebel Conservative MP demanding the government publish all documents relating to Operation Yellowhammer, the effort to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit.

The House of Commons vote came after a stormy week in which lawmakers passed a law undermining Johnson's threat to leave the European Union on October 31 without having first agreed a deal with Brussels.

In yet another day of drama in Westminster, House of Commons speaker John Bercow announced he would be stepping down by October 31 at the latest.

That came ahead of another expected defeat for Johnson, with MPs poised for reject for a second time his call for an early election to break the political impasse over Britain's future.

TRANSPARENCY
Many MPs are deeply opposed to Johnson's threat to end Britain's 46-year-old membership of the EU at the end of next month without agreeing any new arrangements.

In Monday's vote, MPs also asked the government to publish communications, including WhatsApp messages and private emails, from certain advisers relating to Johnson's decision to suspend parliament for five weeks.

The motion is not legally binding but is politically difficult to ignore.

The premier says the so-called prorogation is a routine move to allow his premiership, which only began in July, to start afresh with a new legislative programme.

But MPs see it as an attempt to silence them in the run-up to Brexit and believe documents will prove it.

MAY'S DEAL

Government minister Michael Gove warned their "desire to rifle through private correspondences of advisers is to set aside legal precedent and the rights of citizens".

Britons voted in June 2016 to leave the EU but after three years of political wrangling, parliament still cannot decide how to implement the decision.

Page 1 of 2