Ahead of parliament vote on Brexit deal, Johnson says it is the 'new way forward for Britain and EU'

Agencies
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Oct 19, 2019, 02:46 PM(IST)

File photo of UK PM Boris Johnson. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Britain's parliament sat on Saturday for the first time in 37-years to debate Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal to leave the European Union.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said his Brexit deal offered a "new way forward" for Britain and the EU, as he urged MPs to vote for it in a rare weekend session of parliament.

He told lawmakers the divorce agreement he struck this week in Brussels would be a "new way forward and a new and better deal both for Britain and our friends in the EU".

Johnson also warned against further delay to Britain's departure from the European Union, telling lawmakers there was "little appetite" for another extension.

He told parliament that "further delay is pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive to public trust", as MPs sat on a weekend for the first time in 37 years to debate his divorce agreement.

Britain's parliament sat on a Saturday for the first time in 37-years to debate Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal to leave the European Union.

Johnson is currently making a statement to lawmakers, after which there will be a debate and then votes on amendments and finally - if all goes according to the government's plan - his deal.

Watch: Brexit - a chance or challenge for India?

MPs will decide on the divorce deal struck with EU leaders on Thursday, in a knife-edge vote that could see Britain out of the bloc on October 31. Parliament's last Saturday session was in 1982.

More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48 to be the first country to leave the European project, Johnson will try to win parliament's approval for the divorce treaty he struck in Brussels on Thursday.

Johnson depicted the vote as the last chance to secure an orderly Brexit. Though he is obliged by law to seek a Brexit delay if his deal falls, Johnson said the United Kingdom would still leave on October 31. He didn't explain how.

The so-called Brexit "Super Saturday" tops a frenetic week which saw Johnson confound his opponents by clinching a new Brexit deal although his Northern Irish allies opposed it.

In a divided parliament where he has no majority and opponents are plotting maximum political damage ahead of an imminent election, Johnson must now win the support of 320 lawmakers to pass his deal.

If he wins the vote, Johnson will go down in history as the leader who delivered a Brexit - for good or bad - that pulls the United Kingdom far out of the EU's orbit.

Should he fail, Johnson will face the humiliation of Brexit unravelling after repeatedly promising that he would get it done - "do or die" - by October 31.

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