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Fractious Brexit saga to continue in Parliament, courts

SeattlePI.com Sunday, 20 October 2019 ()
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still at odds with Parliament over how to break the Brexit impasse, and the European Union is considering Johnson's halfhearted request for a delay to the Oct. 31 deadline. There are things to look for in the coming days.

JOHNSON'S PUSH IN PARLIAMENT

The prime minister has endured a string of defeats in Parliament but he hopes to turn that around with one big triumph: a majority vote in favor of his new Brexit divorce deal. The numbers are tight and there's a chance Johnson could prevail.

A vote is possible in the coming days, with the result uncertain. He also needs to enact the enabling legislation that would give the deal legal force.

If he can do that quickly, Britain either wouldn't need an extension or would need only a very short "technical" extension measured in weeks, not months.

WHAT HAPPENS IF PARLIAMENT DOESN'T COOPERATE?

If Johnson can't convince Parliament to quickly back the deal, it will be up to the EU to determine if it grants Britain another extension or sticks to the Oct. 31 date, which would mean the risky "no-deal" Brexit that many national leaders have been trying to avoid.

The EU isn't expected to reveal its answer in the coming days but an extension is seen as the preferred choice for many of the bloc's leaders despite their growing frustration with the stalemate in Parliament.

AN ELECTION IS LOOMING

Johnson has tried to call a national election with the goal of getting a new Parliament that would support his Brexit strategy, but the opposition Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, say they won't okay an election until a Brexit extension has been put in place. If the EU grants the extension that Johnson has requested, an election may well take place in the next few months, with...
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