British lawmakers on Tuesday rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for expedited approval of his plan to divorce the country from the European Union by the end of October. The House of Commons adopted Johnson's 115-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill on a 329-299 vote, the first time Parliament has voted in favor of any Brexit proposal.
But the lawmakers then snubbed his bid, on a 322-308 vote, to give final approval to the measure within three days, likely eliminating his hope to complete Britain's long-delayed departure from the continent's 28-member bloc by next week.
The EU is considering whether to grant Britain another three-month delay to the end of January to devise a Brexit plan that contentious lawmakers in London would approve.
Ahead of the votes in Parliament, Johnson warned that he would call for a new parliamentary election if it failed to adopt a quick timetable for the final split from the EU.
After the vote, however, he said he would "pause this legislation" and consult with EU leaders about a further Brexit delay, while still contending Britain should leave the bloc as scheduled on Oct. 31.
"The public doesn't want any more delays, neither do European leaders, and neither do I," Johnson said Monday. "Let's get Brexit done on Oct. 31 and let's move on."
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