British PM Boris Johnson is now, I believe, 0 for 8 in votes in Commons as the chamber voted 322 to 306 this afternoon (London time) to force the government to delay Brexit until January:
The prime minister will be legally obliged to request a Brexit delay at 11pm under the terms of the rebel Benn act, after the government lost the critical vote.
It came during a historic Saturday sitting of parliament, which saw the PM adopt an emollient tone, as he implored MPs to throw their weight behind his deal.
Letwin said he was minded to support Johnson’s deal, but the aim of his amendment was “to keep in place the insurance policy provided by the Benn act, which prevents us from crashing out automatically if there is no deal by 31 October”.
Downing Street has repeatedly insisted it will comply with the requirements of the Benn act, which forces the PM to write to the EU and request an extension if he has not received parliamentary support for his deal by the deadline. But Johnson has also insisted he will not delay Brexit.
Johnson could still force the UK out of the EU a week from Thursday, but doing so would run afoul of Parliament and would certainly trigger a constitutional crisis.
Meanwhile, if any of my UK readers would like some tariff-free Bourbon in exchange for some tariff-free Scotch, I'll be in the Big Stink on 9th November. I can bring two litres duty-free. Hit me up.