Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost his majority as rebels get Brexit debate. Picture: AFP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost his majority as rebels get Brexit debate. Picture: AFP

Brexit chaos as Boris loses majority

UK parliament was in chaos overnight amid an emergency debate on whether to stop Brexit.

Rebel Conservative MPs have sided with Labour to bring on a vote about delaying Brexit again.

A vote was expected about 7am (AEST) today, which could force Boris Johnson to call an early election.

Mr Johnson already lost his majority in parliament after Phillip Lee crossed the floor to sit with rival Liberal Democrat MPs.

Mr Lee said in a statement that plunged the Conservative party into open warfare that the government was "putting lives and livelihoods at risk unnecessarily and it is wantonly endangering the integrity of the United Kingdom."

"More widely, it is undermining our country's economy, democracy and role in the world," he said.

 

 

In a heated parliamentary session, Mr Johnson condemned a plan by politicians to block his Brexit strategy as "surrender" and said it would undermine his intention to negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU.

 

Pro-leave and Pro-remain protesters remonstrate with one another outside parliament on in London. Picture: Getty Images
Pro-leave and Pro-remain protesters remonstrate with one another outside parliament on in London. Picture: Getty Images

Mr Johnson has threatened to kick out MPs who vote against him.

His hard line stance may lead to him booting Winston Churchill's grandson Sir Nicholas Soames from the party after he indicated he would side with Labour.

Such a move could spark fury within the party, which is already in open revolt.

Mr Johnson said in parliament that he did not want to call a general election.

However, it is widely tipped he would be forced to call an election for October 10 in a high stakes gamble to get Brexit over the line.

Mr Johnson has maintained he can get a deal with Europe for a new agreement, with reports overnight that a solution for the controversial Northern Ireland border may have been found.

Ireland's economy would be the biggest loser from a no-deal Brexit because most of its trade flows through the UK.

There are fears that Brexit could also lead to a hard border with Northern Ireland, which would inflame local tensions and potentially see a return to violence that plagued the region for decades until the Good Friday peace deal in 1997.

Mr Johnson's supporters believe that he could win a general election and gain a majority that would allow a smooth break from Europe.

 

Stephen.drill@news.co.uk