EYEAFRICA TV: London, United Kingdom: A piece of legislation intended to prevent the U.K. from crashing out of the EU without an agreement is set to become law after passing through the House of Lords without any amendments.
The Benn bill completed its legislative scrutiny after passing through parliament’s upper house and will not need to return to the House of Commons. Anti-EU peers had attempted to sabotage the bill by introducing two amendments, but these were roundly defeated by votes of 268-47 and 283-28.
“Despite cynical attempts from Tory backbenchers to filibuster, the Article 50 extension bill has seen safe passage through the House of Lords. It seems that — unlike our suitcases — their threats of disruption were empty,” Dick Newby, the Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, told The Guardian newspaper.
“Liberal Democrats in both the Lords and the Commons have fought tirelessly against the attempts by the prime minister to force a disastrous no-deal Brexit, and this bill is an important step towards trying to sort out the mess the government has made,” he added.
Earlier in the week, Brexiteer peers attempted to filibuster the motion that introduced the bill to the Lords, but they were defeated by opposition parties who stood united against hardline attempts at defeating the bill.
“The Lords have guided Britain further away from the no-deal cliff edge towards which the PM has been stumbling blindly,” said Naomi Smith, director for the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain.
“Parliament has forced Boris Johnson into a corner and his reckless Brexit strategy is in tatters. He must now uphold democratic process and formally seek this extension or face the courts,” she added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will bring a new motion to parliament next Monday to force a snap election for a second time, according to party sources. However, opposition parties have already said they would vote against an early election.
Johnson lost a vote on his first motion for such an election earlier this week after he was defeated on the Brexit delay bill.