UK Parliament blocks Brexit vote on Boris Johnson deal
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The speaker of Britain's House of Commons has rejected the government's bid for a new vote on its Brexit divorce deal, in a blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to take the country out of the European Union at the end of the month.
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Speaker John Bercow says the vote the government wants is "in substance the same" as one held on Saturday and so breaches Parliament's rules. He said it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to allow a new vote Monday.
He said he makes "absolutely no apology" for the decision and is not trying to interfere with Johnson's government attempting to "secure approval of its deal."
Johnson struck a deal with the 27 other EU countries last week. But on Saturday, lawmakers voted to delay their backing for the agreement until the legislation needed to implement has been passed.
Johnson hopes to get the bill approved by Parliament before Oct. 31, the date when Britain is due to leave the EU.
Bercow has vocally opposed decisions by Johnson as he pursues the EU divorce.
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the EU late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain's impending departure from the bloc, as required by law. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
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"While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister, and made clear to Parliament again today, my view, and the government's position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our EU partners, and the relationship between us," Johnson wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk.
EU officials haven't yet responded to the request.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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