September 04, 2019
Boris Johnson’s authority looks set to be dealt a fresh blow as legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit has cleared its first hurdle.
Boris Johnson Loses Again As Bill To Block No-Deal Brexit Passes First Hurdle
A new law to stop the UK from crashing out of the EU without a deal has passed the second reading by MPs, in a clear sign that it will ultimately make it through the Commons process later tonight. 
Rebel Tories banded together with opposition MPs to inflict defeat on the government, recording a 329 to 300 victory. 
The debate was full of drama, with Tory rebels kicked out of their party by Johnson on Tuesday night for triggering the process reaffirming their intention to defy the government. 
Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames was close to tears as he confirmed he would stand down as an MP after he lost the Tory whip over joining the cross-arty alliance. 
Confirming he would back the bill, Soames said he was “truly very sad that it should end in this way” and begged MPs to “rediscover the spirit of compromise, humility and understanding”. 
Soames also took a parting shot at Johnson, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and other ministers who rebelled against Theresa May’s Brexit plans, saying their “serial disloyalty has been an inspiration to so many of us”. 
He said: “I have always felt that the referendum result should be honoured and indeed I voted for withdrawal agreement on every occasion it has been presented to the House, which is more than can be said for the prime minister, the leader of the House and members of the cabinet, whose serial disloyalty has been an inspiration to so many of us.” Former Tory chancellor Philip Hammond criticised the “mass purge” of Tory MPs who defied the government which saw him and others lose the Tory whip.
He said the Bill aiming was not about undermining the prime minister’s negotiating position or handing power to Labour.
He said: “I would sooner boil my head than hand power to the leader of the opposition.”
Hammond added: “It is not us who are heightening the risk of  a government led by the opposition, it is my right honourable friend by pursuing a course of action which, if unchallenged, can only lead to a no-deal Brexit”.
Introducing the bill in the Commons earlier, Labour MP Hilary Benn said: “I think wherever we stand on this issue, we know there is very little time left and, following the decision on prorogation, there is even less time than would have been available previously.”
He said there was strong feelings on both sides and appealed to MPs to “treat each other with respect” during the debate.
Benn said the purpose of the bill was “very simple” and had wide cross-party support. 
Benn added: “You could describe it as a somewhat unlikely alliance, but what unites us is a conviction that there is no mandate for no-deal, and that the consequences for the economy and for our country would be highly damaging.”
The bill may face the most opposition in the House of Lords where Tory peers, who are outnumbered by those on Labour and the Lib Dems, are expected to pull out all of the stops to block it.  Related... Tory Rebels Thrown Out By Boris Johnson Hit Back During PMQs Boris Johnson Told To Apologise For 'Racist' Burkha Comments In Passionate Speech By Labour MP Related... 'I Never Liked Him': Rory Stewart's Constituents React To Their MP Being Sacked
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