MPs to try to block no-deal Brexit after wresting control of Commons agenda

MPs will attempt to block a no-deal Brexit after they defeated the Government to wrest control of the Commons agenda – prompting Boris Johnson to vow to seek a snap general election.

Tory rebels defied the whip to join opposition parties in a move which will see them take control of business in the House on Wednesday in a bid to stop the UK crashing out of the EU on October 31.

The Prime Minister said he would table a motion for a poll under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on Tuesday night, which could be put to a vote on Wednesday.

However, Labour indicated that they would not back the move – which would require the support of two-thirds of MPs – until chances of a no-deal Brexit were taken off the table.

Mr Johnson said Parliament was "on the brink of wrecking any deal" with Brussels after voting to give the cross-party alliance control of the Commons.

He told MPs: "I don't want an election but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop the negotiations and to compel another pointless delay of Brexit, potentially for years, then that will be the only way to resolve this."

POLITICS Brexit
Result of the House of Commons vote to introduce legislation on September 4 to stop a no-deal Brexit on October 31 (PA Graphics)

Downing Street confirmed that the 21 Tory rebels – including former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond – would lose the Conservative whip as a result of their actions.

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Brexit: Day of drama at Westminster
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Brexit: Day of drama at Westminster
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg reclining on his seat in the House of Commons London.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg reclining on his seat in the House of Commons London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the House of Commons, London after MPs voted in favour of allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd leaves the Houses of Parliament on September 3, 2019 in London, England. The Rebel Alliance, including a number of Conservative MPs, have won a vote 328 to 301 for a motion that allows them to take charge of the Parliament order paper tomorrow allowing them to debate on a bill to block a no deal Brexit. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
An anti-Brexit protester shouts slogans while demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Kenneth Clarke and former prime minister Theresa May look on as Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London, on the G7 Summit in Biarritz.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his senior aid Dominic Cummings as they leave Downing Street, central London.
Oliver Letwin speaking in the House of Commons, London.
A man is seen dressed as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushing the plunger on a ''No-Deal Bomb'' while demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Anti-Brexit protesters with placards and flags demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Anti-Brexit protesters with flags playing music while demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A piece of satirical artwork by Artist Kaya Mar showing the Queen, Speaker John Bercow and Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside Parliament. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A Pro-Brexit protester with a placard demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A Pro-Brexit protester with a placard demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Pro-Brexit protesters with placards and banners, demonstrating in central London on the day MPs return back to Parliament after the summer recess. On Monday 2 Sept 2019 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Conservative MPs not to vote against the government in the next night's Bill that would block a no deal Brexit. Several MPs vowed to vote with the opposition regardless of the personal consequences. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Brexit protesters in Westminster, London, as MPs are taking part in an emergency debate over a new law to block a no-deal Brexit.
Brexit protesters on Westminster Bridge in London, as MPs are taking part in an emergency debate over a new law to block a no-deal Brexit.
Brexit protesters marching from the Palace of Westminster in London as MPs are taking part in an emergency debate over a new law to block a no-deal Brexit.
Anti-Brexit protesters attend a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
A woman watches demonstrators as she is trapped on a bus blocked by anti-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 03 : A female anti-Brexit protester climbs the statue of Sir Winston Churchill during a protest against British prime minister Boris Johnson's policies on Brexit and the prorogation of parliament at Parliament Square in London, United Kingdom on September 03, 2019. British prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday has warned rebel Tory MPs from voting in favour of legislation that would prevent a no-deal Brexit and request an extension from the EU as tensions rise between parliament and the government. (Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Brexit protesters in Westminster, London, as MPs are taking part in an emergency debate over a new law to block a no-deal Brexit.. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A demonstrator carries a placard during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 3, 2019, hosted by The People's Assembly Against Austerity. - The fate of Brexit hung in the balance on Tuesday as parliament prepared for an explosive showdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's that could end in a snap election. Members of Johnson's own Conservative party, including Philip Hammond, are preparing to join opposition lawmakers in a vote to try to force a delay to Britain's exit from the European Union if he cannot secure a divorce deal with Brussels in the next few weeks. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sir Nicholas Soames – Winston Churchill's grandson – also backed the rebel move, and said he would not stand at the next general election.

Former Tory ministers Rory Stewart, David Gauke, Greg Clark, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Alistair Burt, Sam Gyimah, Anne Milton and Caroline Nokes also voted against the Government.

Mr Gauke tweeted: "For the first time in 14 years as an MP I voted against the Conservative Party whip. That whip has now been withdrawn.

"If tonight's motion had been lost, a no-deal Brexit would have been almost inevitable. Probably not a good career move but the right choice."

A source close to the rebels said: "Tonight's decisive result is the first step in a process to avert an undemocratic and damaging no-deal.

"No 10 have responded by removing the whip from two former chancellors, a former lord chancellor and Winston Churchill's grandson. What has happened to the Conservative Party?"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Prime Minister: "He wants to table a motion for a general election, fine.

"Get the Bill through first in order to take no deal off the table."

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said it was vital that the Commons does not "tip our country into an election at a point where there is any risk that we will crash out of the European Union during that election campaign or immediately after".

"We must act responsibly," she told MPs.

Wednesday is set to be a dramatic day in the Commons, with Mr Johnson due to take his first Prime Minister's Questions at noon before the Chancellor Sajid Javid sets out public spending plans.

MPs will then debate the draft legislation put forward by a cross-party group which would require a delay to Brexit unless there was a deal or Parliament explicitly backed leaving the EU without one by October 19.

A vote on a general election could be held later in the day.

Meanwhile, a decision is expected at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after a cross-party group of MPs and peers brought legal action aimed at halting the suspension of Parliament.

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