British lawmakers vote to force Johnson to seek Brexit delay Oct 20, 2019 0 191 12345 AFPLondonBritish MPs voted on Saturday to demand Boris Johnson delay Brexit while they further consider his EU divorce deal but the prime minister defiantly insisted Britain will still leave on October 31.In a day of high drama in the House of Commons, MPs declined to give their backing to the agreement Johnson struck with the EU this week until the legislation needed to ratify it has passed.In doing so, they triggered a law requiring Johnson write to EU leaders by the end of the day asking to delay Brexit, to avoid the risk that Britain crashes out in less than two weeks.Outside parliament, tens of thousands of people marching to demand a new referendum that might reverse Brexit erupted into cheers at the vote.“That’s really good, that’s one step away from Brexit,” demonstrator Philip Dobson told AFP.“Reject Brexit”, “Put It To The People” and “Stop This Madness” read some of the placards at the march, where many protesters also waved EU flags.The vote is a blow to Johnson, who has previously said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than prolong the tortuous process of ending Britain’s 46-year-old membership of the EU. But Johnson responded with characteristic defiance, sparking outrage among opposition MPs -- and fresh uncertainty about what happens next.“I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so,” he told MPs, who met on a Saturday for the first time since the 1982 Falklands War.“I continue in the very strong belief that the best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31.” There was no immediate confirmation from officials that Johnson would send his letter, but a tweet from his Conservative party said: “The prime minister will not ask for a delay.” Brussels urged Britain to explain its plan as soon as possible, while French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said a new delay to Brexit was “in nobody’s interest”.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party opposes the deal, said: “The prime minister must now comply with the law.” Securing the deal at Thursday’s EU summit was a personal victory for Johnson, a figurehead in the 2016 Leave campaign who has vowed to deliver Brexit on October 31 come what may.He had spent 48 hours frantically trying to persuade MPs to back it, and won support from many of the eurosceptic Conservative MPs who rejected a previous divorce agreement.But parliament -- like the frustrated public -- is still bitterly divided over how and even if Britain should end decades of integration with its closest trading partner.MPs voted by 322 to 306 to back a motion by former Conservative minister Oliver Letwin that “withholds approval (of the deal) unless and until implementing legislation is passed”.The failure to get a clear vote for the text triggers a law requiring Johnson ask the EU to delay Brexit for three months -- or to another date of their choosing. If he refuses, he is likely to face a court challenge.Before the vote Johnson warned another delay -- the third -- was “pointless”, adding: “Now is the time to get this thing done.” He said he would introduce legislation next week to implement his deal, with a first vote as soon as Tuesday. RELATED ARTICLES Italy’s Salvini seeks to unite right at Rome rally Oct 20, 2019 0 216 Villagers search for bodies after 70 killed in Afghan mosque blast Oct 20, 2019 0 203 Oppn’s refusal to hold talks with govt points to anti-Kashmir agenda: Pakistan minister Oct 20, 2019 0 1281 Madrid increases pressure on Catalan separatists after violence Barcelona: Spain’s central government in Madrid on Saturday urged Catalan separatist leaders to unequivocally denounce violence after five nights of clashes. The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez brushed .. German protesters call for closure of animal testing lab Hamburg: Several thousand people called for an end to animal testing and demanded the closure of a controversial laboratory near the northern German port city of Hamburg. Some 7,300 participants joined the peaceful .. N Macedonia PM calls for snap vote after EU snub Skopje: North Macedonia’s prime minister on Saturday proposed a snap election after the EU blocked the start of membership talks, scrambling what had been the key policy goal of his administration. After hours of heated .. US Democrats aim to block Trump resort from hosting G7 Washington: Furious that US President Donald Trump announced he will host the next G7 summit at his own golf resort in Florida, congressional Democrats introduced legislation on Friday to block his plan. Lawmakers said .. Afghan vote results delayed: Official Kabul: Preliminary results expected on Saturday after last month’s presidential election in Afghanistan have been delayed, the election commission said. Officials had previously indicated that results would ..