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Boris Johnson news – live: Major blow for prime minister as Commons vote paves way for bill preventing no-deal Brexit

Follow all the latest developments

Adam Forrest,Jon Sharman,Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 03 September 2019 21:35 BST
Boris Johnson: 'Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels'

Rebel Tories have defied Boris Johnson's threats of deselection to align with opposition MPs and derail his Brexit plans in a historic Commons vote.

MPs voted to seize control of the house agenda, paving the way for a bill to be tabled tomorrow that would prevent the prime minister from crashing the country out of the EU on October 31.

The prime minister's statement to the House earlier this evening was upstaged when Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee dramatically crossed the floor to sit with the Liberal Democrats, depriving him of his majority.

Mr Johnson said he would put in train a motion calling for a general election next month.

Labour have said they may vote in favour of such a poll, but only if they could be certain Mr Johnson would not move the date until after Britain is due to leave on October 31, in effect bringing about a no-deal by default.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of events at Westminster, as MPs return from summer recess and rebel parliamentarians prepare to vote on a motion to seize control of Commons business.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 08:24

Boris Johnson will call a general election for 14 October if he loses today’s crunch vote designed to block a no-deal Brexit, senior government officials have said.

The source said the prime minister was confident about getting the two-thirds majority required to trigger an early poll.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the details.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 08:28

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour will “take the fight to the Tories” in a general election, insisting the party is ready after the government said could push for a snap election.

Addressing a rally in Salford, Corbyn said: “I am proud to lead our party, I’m proud to take the fight to the Tories and I will be delighted when the election comes. I’m ready for it, you’re ready for it, we're ready for it, we'll take the message out there and above all we will win for the people of this country.”

The Labour leader also said: “What Boris Johnson was doing was essentially threatening people, threatening people with a no-deal Brexit if he doesn’t get his way in parliament.

“I know people voted both ways in the referendum, obviously, I know people have different views about these things, obviously, but I simply say this - people didn’t vote to lose their jobs, didn’t vote to see our environmental standards, workers’ rights, consumer protections ripped up.”

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 08:31

Justine Greening, the former education secretary, has announced she will stand down at the next election.

The Tory rebel told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I will not be standing as a Conservative candidate at the next election.”

The ex-international development secretary said her concerns that the Tory Party was morphing into Nigel Farage's Brexit Party had “come to pass”, and said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was offering the country a “lose-lose” situation by threatening a general election.

Greening said: “I don’t believe that the Conservative Party will offer people a sensible choice at the next election in respect of the fact that Boris Johnson is going to offer people a general election that faces them with the choice of a no-deal or Jeremy Corbyn.

“That is a lose-lose general election for Britain.”

The Putney MP said her party was “narrowing down its appeal” - a move, she suggested, that had been highlighted by the threat this week to long-serving MPs who would have the whip removed if they voted against the government on Brexit.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 08:35

No 10 has been forced to deny claims that Boris Johnson’s right-hand man Dominic Cummings has referred to negotiations with the EU on a new Brexit deal as “a sham”.

Two sources told The Daily Telegraph Cummings openly described the idea of reaching an agreement with Brussels this way.

A Downing Street source said: “Dom has not said this. He does not believe this to be the case.”

Sources also told the newspaper that Attorney General Geoffrey Cox made clear to Johnson that it was a “complete fantasy” to think EU chiefs would ever drop the backstop.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 08:42

A defiant Philip Hammond has confirmed he will vote for legislation designed to block a no-deal Brexit.

“I will support the bill,” he told the Today programme, claiming “there will be enough people for us to get this over the line today”.

Asked whether Downing Street had the power to prevent him from standing as a Tory at the next election, said: “I don’t believe they do and there would certainly be the fight of a lifetime if they tried to.”

Asked whether he would be prepared to take such a fight to the courts, he said: “Possibly. A lot of my colleagues have come under immense pressure. Some have responded to that by saying ‘enough, I’m going’. That is not going to be my approach. This is my party. I have been a member of this party for 45 years.”

In what was seen as a swipe at Dominic Cummings, he said: “I am going to defend my party against incomers, entryists, who are trying to turn it from a broad church to narrow faction.

“People who are at the heart of this government, who are probably not even members of the Conservative Party, who care nothing about the future of the Conservative Party, I intend to defend my party against them.”

He said it was his understanding that Cummings was “not and never has been” a party member.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 09:00

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 09:04

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has told Good Morning Britain that he believed “shenanigans” in parliament were weakening the government’s negotiating position with the EU.

“We’re making good progress with the EU negotiations. The one thing that has helped focus minds in the EU is that we’re leaving come what may and we’ve got a very focused task of what a good deal would look like,” the former Brexit secretary claimed.

“But the lingering doubt they’ve got is will the shenanigans in parliament somehow lead to the cancellation or the delay of Brexit. That’s encouraging them and weakening our position to actually get the deal we all want.”

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 09:06

Nigel Farage confirms something he has repeatedly suggested – he would be willing to form an electoral pact with the Tories if Boris Johnson promises to leave the EU without a deal.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 09:10

Labour fear Boris Johnson is planning a “trick” that will end in a no-deal Brexit during an election campaign.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more.

Adam Forrest3 September 2019 09:29

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