United Kingdom parliament delayed a vote on a Brexit deal by three months Saturday, a stinging defeat for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in what had appeared to have been a breakthrough in negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
As thousands marched through the streets of London calling for a second referendum, parliament met for a rare Saturday session to vote on Johnson’s new agreement. The session was supposed to be a straight up-and-down vote, but an amendment put forth by former Conservative Oliver Letwin and approved by parliament delayed the vote by three months.
The Letwin Amendment puts the brakes on an immediate vote on Johnson’s plan, instead requiring parliament to pass the legislation needed to implement his plan before the vote. This opens up the possibility of the plan being altered in the three-month span, with continued debate and amendments that would not have been possible with an immediate up-and-down vote.
In early September, Queen Elizabeth II granted Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament for five weeks after it refused to hold a snap election, limiting the body’s ability to intervene and stop a no-deal Brexit. That move was later declared illegal by the U.K. supreme court, furthering the tension and resentment in parliament.