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IF YOU THOUGHT last night’s developments in the House of Commons were a little strange, wait till you hear what’s been going on today. 

Here are the main things to know from the day:

  • MPs passed the Benn bill through the House of Commons which could extend the Brexit deadline to 31 January 2020 at the earliest. 
  • Following this vote, Boris Johnson put forward a motion to hold an early parliamentary general election.
  • The date he gave for this election in the Commons was 15 October, just over two weeks before the current Brexit deadline of 31 October. 
  • MPs had around 90 minutes to debate the motion. 
  • The motion was not passed in the Commons because it did not receive a two-thirds majority. 
  • The motion received 298 ayes and 56 noes. 
  • The Benn bill will be put forward to the House of Lords.
  • Jeremy Corbyn has said that Labour won’t back Johnson’s motion on an early election unless Benn’s bill is enacted. 

The 21 Tories who voted against the government last night – including former Chancellor Philip Hammond and the grandson of Winston Churchill – were contacted this morning to have the whip removed from them (effectively suspending them from the party).

A debate took place from 3pm today on Hilary Benn’s bill to compel the UK to request an extension to the Brexit deadline. 

The bill passed through two votes in the Commons today and should go on to the House of Lords tomorrow. 

This all follows an unusual PMQs session earlier today – Johnson’s first in the hotseat – during which the prime minister referred to the leader of the opposition as both a chlorinated chicken and a big girl’s blouse. 

Here at home, amidst all that, Simon Coveney has said there is “no proposal from the British government which can be a basis for discussion and negotiation”. 

There’s quite a bit happening this morning so a quick round up:

  • Here’s our Liveblog from yesterday, from early morning until late last night
  • Here’s the debate on Oliver Letwin’s motion last night, and the final 328-301 vote
  • Here’s what that vote means today and beyond.

The 21 Tory rebels were informed this morning that they lost the whip. 

A few reactions from some of them:

Rory Stewart

Sam Gyimah

David Gauke

So. The Commons committee on Exiting the EU has been on for less than an hour and has been fascinating. We’ve been keeping an ear in so you don’t have to – here’s a recap of what has been said so far:

Karen Wheeler, a former director general with the Cross Government Border Delivery Group at HM Revenue & Customs, says she worked on some of the Operation Yellowhammer details on goods and people crossing the UK’s borders.

She says that Operation Yellowhammer was the “reasonable worst case”: “It stands a likely chance of happening, but wouldn’t be the most likely scenario. Yellowhammer didn’t come up on a likely scenario, it’s a contingency for the reasonable worst case scenario.”

She added that at the end of June, only 67,000 of 145,000 businesses had an EORI number, which is an “easy prerequisite to making customs preparations”.

She said that in their efforts to try to assess what would be the impact on the number of trucks going through Dover and Calais, “less than 50% of the trucks would be prepared”.

The flow of traffic would get up to 70%/80% in a best case scenario, she adds.

Andrew Opie, the director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, tells the committee that the end of October is the worst time to face a no-deal Brexit.

“This time of year is a really crucial problem. We’re at peak imports as the UK finished its growing season, and all importa have to come through Calais. The end of October is the really the peak period at that time.”

He adds that warehouse space is premium at that time, as businesses prepare for Christmas.

When asked what the ideal time for a no-deal Brexit would be, Opie answers June.

He says that for products like lettuce, it flips from 10% from the UK/ 90% from elsewhere in the winter to the exact opposite in the summer.

An added problem is heat-treated pallets, which is an EU requirement. The UK government doesn’t have not enough palettes to move product.

James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association said they’ve been told that the government have increased the number of heat-treated pallets, but they aren’t sure it’s enough.

“If French customs say everything is fine, but the palettes haven’t been heat-treated you’re not coming in – that’s a significant problem.”

Opie says that the Irish have told them that they will enforce all the rules of the EU and ask for the required documentation for UK exports coming into Ireland – even for those heat-treated pallets we were talking about earlier.

Wheeler says that they have worked very closely with the French authorities for the crossing at Dover-Calais, but says that “we have not been able to get as close to Ireland’s arrangements because Ireland has been less willing to talk to the UK about border arrangements”.

So I would have less confidence in them, but that’s not to say that they were not prepared.

Karen Wheeler, formerly of HM Revenue & Customs, says that “we have not been able to get as close to Irish arrangements because Ireland has been less willing [than the French] to talk to the UK about border arrangements”.

She says she has less confidence in the Irish government’s preparations because she just hasn’t seen as much of what’s prepared.

We’re with you on that one, Karen.

Wheeler Source: UK committee

Karen Wheeler is asked about what would happen at the border after Brexit.

She says that the priority for the government to avoid a hard border would be no customs and “a minimal amount of checks”. 

What that would mean in principle, any imports from ROI would be able to flow in without checks, she said. “So that flow would be fine.”

“But the trade in the opposite direction would not, because our assumption would be that Ireland would have to impose customs and SPS (Sanitary and phytosanitary) checks.”

Wheeler says “I don’t think they have been exactly detailed or specific in how they would do that”, but they would “aim to do them in existing facilities away from the border”.

Wheeler 2 Source: UK parliament

Wheeler also says that tariff differentials being imposed on goods going from Northern Ireland to the Republic wouldn’t be worth it economically.

“Especially in circumstances where they didn’t know what would happen and exactly how it would happen. And that would be exacerbated by Republic of Ireland traders being able to still bring their goods into Northern Ireland without any barriers and without any tariffs.”

“That in itself would cause immediate problems within days, maybe even hours, and could cause Northern Ireland traders to go out of business.”

Hookham says that it would be “a very grey area” as what would be deemed as smuggling, since there wouldn’t be checks on certain trucks crossing the border.

The border at NI and Republic of Ireland would be subject to legal challenge, Wheeler adds, by other EU countries who say “that’s not fair to break WTO trade rules”.

Wheeler: “I think the assumption was that there would need to be some sort of special deal which obviously takes you into a different place. But it wasn’t clear to be and I wasn’t cited on anything detailing what that might look like.”

Chair: Sounds like some kind of backstop arrangement…

More damning statements about the Irish government‘s preparations for a no-deal Brexit from Karen Wheeler:

“I think UK government officials were constantly trying to have conversations, but Irish officials and ministers were simply unwilling to talk to us about no-deal arrangements.

“There was certainly an assumption by the Republic of Ireland that a no-deal would not happen because it could not happen. Therefore it wasn’t clear that there was a plan at all. Now I’m sure there is some sort of plan now, but it still wasn’t clear what it is and certainly by the end of June we still weren’t able to talk to them about it.”

A Scottish Court has ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue the UK parliament was not illegal and did not breach the rule of law.

Lord Raymond Doherty ruled this morning that the issue of prorogation is not a matter for the courts and is one of “high policy and political judgement”.

Here is the judge’s thinking behind that decision:

Some updates on Dominic Cumming’s movements last night.

I’d say the fear he has today is unreal. 

On a more balanced note, this thread on how we’re all underestimating Cummings from Sam Freedman is worth your time.

“I worked with him for four years… Personally I liked him him a lot most of the time. He’s funny, charismatic and inspires loyalty. He also royally pissed me off sometimes through sheer unreasonableness.”

We’ll get back to the committee – as Boris Johnson is at the dispatch box for his first round of PMQs. Ding ding ding.

If Johnson does as he hinted at last night and calls a general election, this could also be his last PMQs… 

Corbyn cites Ireland as he asks Boris Johnson to publish the progress/proposals made by the UK government.

Johnson’s answer is that they don’t conduct negotiations in public.

“We will get the backstop out, we will get an agreement that this House approves.”

Johnson accuses Corbyn of trying to keep the UK in the EU beyond 31 October.

He also mentions a general election on 15 October, a Tuesday.

Johnson says that Michael Gove’s efforts to prepare for a no-deal are “very far advanced”.

Johnson says “I don’t want an election” [cue laughter] “I don’t think Corbyn wants an election”.

Johnson just called Jeremy Corbyn a chlorinated chicken. 

Corbyn says he hopes no further government aides will be “frogmarched” out of Downing Street.

He asks Johnson to publish which foods and medicines the UK will be in short supply of in a no-deal Brexit, to which Johnson calls “scaremongering”. 

This is interesting – cause or effect though?

Johnson’s PMQ strategy seems to be to attack Jeremy Corbyn and not answer any of his questions. There’s always been a bit of this, but it’s more stark than Theresa May’s dispatch box performances.

Boris Johnson just shouted the phrase “shit or bust” in the House of Commons. 

The standard boos as the SNP’s Ian Blackford speaks.

Today Mr Speaker, we have seized back control from a Prime Minister who is behaving more like a dictator than a democrat. The Prime Minister must be stopped.

If we succeed tonight… will the Prime Minister respect the will of parliament and finally act to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit. 

Johnson asks Blackford to respect the will of those who voted for Brexit.

Blackford shoots back “I know he’s a new boy but he’s supposed to answer the questions we ask him”. He points out that the Scottish people he represents voted to Remain.

Johnson responds and says “the separatists drone on about smashing up the most successful union”. He says they do this to cover up their own home record.

“Their signature policy is to return Scotland to the EU and “surrendering Scottish fish just as they have been taken back” from the EU.

During his response to Blackford, Johnson says that he is a democrat because “I want an election” to the jeers of the House of Commons.

Johnson has been at pains to say he doesn’t want an election. 

prime-ministers-questions Source: PA Images

Johnson is pushing Corbyn to back an election – he says that instead of passing the so-called “surrender bill” (that’s the one being voted on tonight), the government should back an election and have the people decide.

Labour have said that it wouldn’t vote for a general election if Johnson puts forward a motion to call for the dissolution of parliament. Corbyn says that they would prioritise blocking a no-deal Brexit, and would look at backing an election call only after that legislation has been completed. 

This puts serious pressure on Boris Johnson to wait until no-deal legislation has been passed next week before a) proroguing parliament at the earliest date (9 Sept) instead of the latest date (12 Sept), and b) putting down a dissolution motion. 

Karen Bradley asks about healthcare in her area; Johnson responds by thanking her for her service as Northern Ireland Secretary. Bradley was beset with issues in the role – particularly after she said she didn’t realise that unionists voted for unionist parties and nationalists voted for nationalist parties. 

Boris Johnson’s answer to every question asked by a Labour MP is basically: 

“Can you have a word with Jeremy Corbyn and ask him to back a general election?”

Johnson sounding more and more like Trump as these PMQs go on. He just said:

“The faster we get rid of Sadiq Khan… the better.”

Given the statements we’ve seen in the House of Commons this afternoon, are we even surprised? Cancel all your plans, the House of Commons is on. 

Islamophobia Source: UK Parliament

Roars of approval and a resounding round of applause after MP Tanmanjeet Singh asks Johnson to explain former racist remarks and says will there be an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Tory party, which had been called for before. 

Johnson says that he agrees that people should be allowed to wear any symbol of religion they want, and takes aim at allegations of anti-semitism within the Labour party.

Well that was something. Sajid Javid is up now to giving an economic announcement. 

He mentions the “election that nobody wants” and says they’re reaching a new economic era with a new economic plan” after a “Labour’s recession”.

A “global”, “enterprising”, “prosperous” Britain is what he’s promising. 

Daragh Brophy here taking over the liveblog from Gráinne, who’ll be furiously typing up a story on that – even by recent standards – pretty bizarre PMQs. 

Meanwhile, our senior reporter Michelle Hennessy is at an event at the RDS where Simon Coveney has been speaking to reporters in the last few minutes. 

The Tánaiste said that any business that hasn’t been preparing for a no-deal scenario has been “naive”.

In keeping with the usual Irish and EU line on the Brexit impasse he said that as far as he was concerned “we already have a deal” (the Withdrawal Agreement) – adding that if the British government wants a new deal they’ll have to offer some kind of alternative proposals, which they have yet to do.

Coveney and other ministers are launching a guide, ‘Getting Your Business Brexit Ready: Practical Steps’, at the Dublin 4 venue. You’ll find a link in the tweet below.

Another interesting line here from Coveney, courtesy of Michelle: 

Simon Coveney is busy this afternoon. He was also on RTÉ’s New at One, where he was asked again if any credible alternative proposals had been tabled by the UK. 

“No, there aren’t,” he said. 

There are conversations happening. Boris Johnson has visited a number of EU capitals … but there is no proposal from the British government which can be the basis for discussion and negotiation.

A roundup of insights, analysis and stray observations from journalists, politicians and commentators, in the wake of Johnson’s first outing in the hotseat for prime minister’s questions… 

From Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron

From SNP MP Neil Gray

From the Financial Times Whitehall correspondent Sebastian Payne

From Telegraph political correspondent Harry Yorke

From Nicholas Watt, the Political Editor at the BBC’s Newsnight: 

Coveney was also asked about Mike Pence‘s comments on Brexit yesterday. 

Speaking alongside the Taoiseach in a joint press appearance at Farmleigh, the US Vice President’s remarks on the subject were stronger than many had been expecting. 

Pence said that while he recognised the “unique challenges” posed by the border he encouraged Ireland and the UK to work together. 

He went on to call on Ireland and the EU to negotiate in good faith with Johnson to secure a deal that “respects the UK’s sovereignty”. 

The Tánaiste has been attempting to play the whole thing down today. 

“I think they’ve been overblown,” he said of Pence’s comments. 

“I met Vice President Pence. We had a really good meeting in Shannon.

“At the same time, he wants a deal here. Like so many people, he wants a sensible managed Brexit and not one where everything changes on a cliff-edge overnight.”

He said Pence “is also very very clear that he does not want the Good Friday Agreement undermined”.

He regards peace on this island as a US responsibility, as well as a UK and Irish one.

I was at that press event in Farmleigh yesterday (you can read the report here). There was a notable tension in the room after Pence made his comments, and some surprise that he had gone that far with his message, considering the location and the audience. 

Pence took off from Shannon this morning en route to Iceland, and then, later tonight, London, where he’s due to hold a meeting on Thursday with Boris Johnson. 

Meanwhile, the headline on the online version of Miriam Lord’s colour piece for the Irish Times on Pence’s visit is piquing the interest of some US reporters on VP duty this week. 

Justin Sink is covering Pence for Bloomberg: 

Back across the water, as they say, today’s events in parliament are getting stranger and stranger. 

John McDonnell is the Shadow Chancellor. 

You’ll recall this, of course:

boris Source: daragh

Flag

Here’s a video of that back-and-force between Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Boris Johnson earlier, when the opposition member asked the PM if he would “finally apologise” for his Telegraph column in which he said Muslim women looked like “letterboxes”.

Johnson, defending his piece, described it as a “strong liberal defence” of a woman’s right to wear “whatever they want in this country”. 

The Labour politician’s intervention prompted applause from the chamber, breaking with protocol and tradition for MPs. 

THE EU IS making hundreds of millions of euro available for no-deal contingency funds, it’s been revealed today. 

From AFP’s copy on the package: 

The European Union is freeing up 780 million euros ($860 million) in emergency funds to cope with the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit on member states, officials said Wednesday.

Most of the money — nearly 600 million euros — is to come from a disaster fund called the Emergency Solidarity Fund usually used to respond to natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

The rest is to come from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which helps workers made redundant by globalisation.

The contingencies were outlined in a European Commission statement on Wednesday as Britain descended deeper into political disarray because of ever-starker divisions over Brexit, particularly within the ruling Conservative party.

EU officials later detailed the breakdown of the money from the two funds.

They stressed that beyond the 780-million-euro figure, more cash could be available to mitigate the effects of an abrupt Brexit from other funds, for instance budgeted cash for fisheries and agriculture.

One official, speaking of the Emergency Solidarity Fund availability, said funding was made possible because of the relatively few natural disasters affecting the EU this year, leaving sufficient money in the pot.

Here’s how the application process will work: 

“We will ask the member states if they want to apply (for Brexit money from the fund) by a deadline, which will be at the end of April next year when all the applications will be assessed as a package,” the official said.

Another official cautioned that the contingency money would only be provided “for the most significant disruption”.

She added that “some economies will be more exposed than others” and analysis for funding would be made on a “case-by-case” basis.

Daragh Brophy signing off… I’ll be handing over to my colleague Orla Dwyer for the next while. 

I’ll leave you with this. 

Orla Dwyer here signing on from Daragh, keeping you up to date with all the latest happenings in the House of Commons. 

Coming up next, the debate of Benn’s bill which would delay the Brexit deadline to 31 January 2020 at the earliest will begin. 

This debate will continue until around 5pm when the first vote on the bill will take place.

The second round of votes will happen at 7pm. If the bill is approved at this stage, it will move onto the House of Lords.

We’re in for a long evening, so strap yourselves in. 

If you’re confused about the bill being debated, the UK Parliament has an explanation on their site.

The bill was put forward by Labour MP Hilary Benn, Alistair Burt and other MPs. It is called the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 6) Bill. 

Benn discussed the bill in the House today and said its aim is “to ensure that the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union on 31 October without an agreement”.

Here is a useful thread from Benn on the bill:

Clause 1 of the bill gives the government until 19 October to do one of two things. 

It would seek and secure the approval of MPs for either a withdrawal agreement or the approval to leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

If the House has not done either of these things by 19 October, the prime minister must look for an extension of Article 50 for four further months – 31 January 2020. 

If passed through all stages of the House of Commons today, it could be introduced to the House of Lords tomorrow. 

The debate is underway and Hilary Benn, the Labour chair of the Commons Brexit committee, is answering questions from members of the House on the bill. 

Steve Double MP says that the bill prolongs the deadline rather than preventing a no-deal Brexit from taking place. 

Benn responds with a cliff-jumping analogy. 

“If someone says you can jump off a cliff with all the damaging consequences in a couple of weeks time, or we could put it off for three months, which would you like?” 

In case you missed it last night, Charles Stewart Parnell was mentioned out of nowhere during yesterday’s debate by leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

Here is an explanation of why this happened, if you are understandably scratching your head. 

“No deal will not be the end of Brexit, it will only be the end of the beginning.”

Hilary Benn closes his statements on the bill with some stark commentary on negotiations so far and the problems that could arise from leaving in October without a deal. 

He says no-deal would not end anything, but simply “plunge” the UK into even greater uncertainty, including border uncertainty in Ireland.

“It would be utterly irresponsible to allow this to happen,” he comments. 

Ireland gets brought back into the discussion by MP Alistair Burt who says the country has been treated by some MPs as “some sort of irrelevance”. 

“Our Brexit has put [Ireland] in the most catastrophic situation of any country and we now expect them to accept another English demand,” he said.  

The House has erupted in laughter after Nicholas Soames says the “serial disloyalty” of members of the cabinet has been an “inspiration” to many. 

Soames confirmed last night that he will not be standing in the next general election (whenever that will be) after 37 years as a Conservative MP.

Before that, Lisa Nandy MP says that after years of saying a no-deal Brexit was a ‘hoax’, the House has woken up to the reality of this possibility. 

Labour will not be supporting the government’s bid for an early election, according to Labour MP Keir Starmer.

Starmer confirmed that the party won’t be voting for an early election tonight. He reiterated that the party wants to ensure the UK does not leave the EU without a deal and wants the Benn bill to be enacted. 

“We will not be voting with the government tonight and we will keep our focus on the task in hand, which is to ensure that we don’t leave the EU without a deal,” said Starmer.  

“I don’t believe, and I don’t think anybody believes for a moment that the backstop will ever happen.”

Conservative MP Edward Leigh says that “so much ink has been wasted” on the backstop.

He adds that nobody intends to impose a hard border and says there are “so many others way” to resolve the issue.

The MP believes Johnson and the cabinet still want to achieve an orderly Brexit.

Break time. 

MPs are now voting on the Benn bill which intends to stop a no-deal Brexit taking place on 31 October. 

This is the first vote on the Benn bill in the Commons. The result will be announced in about 15 minutes. 

MPs have voted in favour of giving the bill to stop a no-deal Brexit a second reading this evening. 

The second round of voting will take place at 7pm and if this also passes, the bill will be debated in the House of Lords tomorrow. 

The bill aims to block a no-deal Brexit and extend the deadline to 31 January 2020. 

The results were 329 ayes to 300 noes. 

Now that the bill has been approved by MPs, it is being considered in a committee of the whole House of Commons to allow members to table amendments to the bill. 

The amendments are available here on the Commons website. 

Today’s vote passed by just one more vote than the motion last night

The full list of the votes, by party and individual politician, can be found here

The amendments to the bill are currently being discussed in the Commons.

The result of the vote on this Brexit extension bill has been welcomed by leader of the SDLP Colum Eastwood. He said that local MPs who stood with Johnson have “abdicated responsibility”. 

sdlp statement Statement from SDLP.

Back in the Commons, talk of the backstop has returned as Labour MP Albert Owen says he is a “big fan” of the backstop.

“The backstop is at the heart of the withdrawal agreement bill,” the MP says. 

This is in contrast to the words of Conservative MP Edward Leigh who said earlier that “so much ink” had been wasted on the issue. 

Boris Johnson has been in a 1922 Committee meeting with Conservative backbenchers, according to the political editor of The UK Sun newspaper. 

Johnson is allegedly explaining his alternative to the backstop in Ireland, an issue that has been brought up often in the Commons today. 

An amendment to the Brexit extension bill currently being debated in the House of Commons has been rejected by MPs. 

It was rejected by 495 votes to 65 – a majority of 430. 

The 19th amendment was designed to ensure parliament would get the chance to debate whether it wanted the existing deal in October. It was tabled by Conservative MP Richard Graham

The Benn bill would extend the Brexit deadline into next year.

This is the second vote on this bill today, the first of which passed by 329 votes to 300. This initial vote was to give the bill a second reading. The bill will now go on to a third reading. 

The Benn bill will be put forward to the House of Lords tomorrow if passed through the Commons today. 

Here is the full list of amendments and here is the full text of the bill. 

The chief Brexit negotiator for the EU has pulled out of a planned visit to Northern Ireland next Monday, according to RTÉ

Michel Barnier said he wanted to “refrain from interfering in the ongoing debate” in the UK amid Brexit negotiations. 

The negotiator informed the President of Queen’s University Belfast of the decision in a letter earlier today. Barnier was supposed to deliver a lecture at the university before cancelling. 

British MPs have passed a bill that would see the Brexit deadline extended until January 2020 at the earliest. 

The motion passed by 327 ayes to 299 noes. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put forward a motion to hold a general election in the UK following the Benn bill passing through the House of Commons. 

MPs have yet to vote on Johnson’s motion. If two-thirds back it, an election would likely take place on 15 October.

If the Benn bill is passed in the House of Lords, Brexit could be extended until 31 January 2020 at the earliest. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party will only back an election if the Benn bill goes through parliament. 

Scottish MPs have had a heated reaction to the tabling of a motion for an early general election. 

Pete Wishart said that if Scottish conservatives voted in favour of Johnson’s motion, they would be similar to “turkeys voting for Christmas” because they are close to “decimation”.  

Scottish National Party MP Ian Blackford criticised Johnson for chatting to the British Chancellor Sajid Javid when he should be listening to the debate. 

As a reminder, Scotland and Northern Ireland were the only parts of the UK that did not have a majority Brexit vote. 

Scotland voted 38% leave and Northern Ireland voted 44% leave. 

It’s been a long day, and discussions are ongoing in the Commons about Johnson’s motion to hold an early parliamentary election. 

Caroline Lucas said she is delighted that Johnson needs to “try and own his own horrendous mess”.

She added that it is vital for an election to happen only after Article 50 can be extended. 

Conservative Bernard Jenkin described the paralysis of the “zombie parliament” and says he predicts a rise in more extremist parties if a decision on Brexit keeps being put off.

MP Jess Philips said there was “no distance” she would throw Boris Johnson and MP Thelma Walker said the UK is the laughing stock of the world.

John Baron said that there has been “utter delay and confusion” from remain MPs who won’t honour the referendum result. 

The room is in division for the next few minutes as we await the results of Johnson’s motion to hold an early parliamentary election. 

Events heated up before the break as MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle called Johnson a “schoolroom clown” and said the motion was a “poisoned chalice” from the prime minister. 

He claimed that Johnson was twice sacked for lying, before being interrupted by speaker John Bercow who urged him to be more courteous with his language. He corrects himself and says Johnson was allegedly sacked for lying. 

Bercow says he “knows the rules” and adds that Russell-Moyle is not out of order. 

Some Labour MPs will allegedly be abstaining from the vote on the motion to have an early election, according to BBC journalist Vicki Young.

The results should arrive in just a few minutes. 

Boris Johnson’s motion to hold an early election has been rejected by MPs, many of whom abstained from voting.

Although the motion received 298 ayes and 56 noes, this was not enough for the required two-thirds majority to pass the motion. This majority is required under the Fixed Term Parliament Act. 

Johnson had suggested an election date of 15 October, just over two weeks before the current Brexit deadline of 31 October. 

“This is the first time in history that the opposition has voted to show confidence in Her Majesty’s government,” said Johnson after the result was announced.  

MP David Gauke claims he has been informed that he is no longer a member of the Conservative Party after receiving a text from his associate chairman. 

David Gauke was one of the 21 Tory MPs who lost the Tory whip after going against the government to block a no-deal Brexit yesterday. 

The MP abstained from voting in Johnson’s motion tonight to hold an early parliamentary election. 

Yesterday, he voted in favour of the motion to debate Benn’s bill which was passed through the Commons earlier today. 

There is still some confusion over an amendment to the bill that was passed earlier in the Commons.

The Kinnock amendment would allegedly see a cross-party version of Theresa May’s Brexit deal back on the table.

This was passed automatically in the House, apparently because the government didn’t provide any tellers to count. 

The Kinnock amendment states that it seeks an extension under Article 50 the passage of a withdrawal agreement bill based on the outcome of the inter-party talks which concluded in May 2019.

That’s all for tonight, folks. 

Here is the full list of party members who voted (or didn’t vote) in tonight’s motion to hold an early parliamentary election. 

Keep an eye on the TheJournal.ie for updates on Brexit tomorrow as the debates continue. 

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