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UK Parliament Rejects December Snap Elections
By Staff, Agencies
UK lawmakers on Monday rejected an attempt by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold an early general election on December 12, as he sought to break the political deadlock over Brexit.
A total of 299 MPs voted in support of his proposal, with 70 against, but he did not secure the backing of the two-thirds of the 650 MPs required by law to pass the motion.
Johnson had promised repeatedly to leave the EU on October 31 but was forced to ask Brussels to postpone after MPs refused to back his divorce agreement.
Ambassadors from the other 27 EU member states agreed to the request on Monday but proposed that Britain could leave earlier if the deal passes parliament.
The delay is a major setback for Johnson, who said he would rather "die in a ditch" than prolong the tortuous Brexit process that began with the 2016 EU referendum.
He sought to regain the initiative by calling an election for early December – hoping that MPs might ratify his exit agreement before then.
"Nobody in this House relishes the idea of a general election, because nobody wants to put the public to this inconvenience," Johnson told the House of Commons. "But across this country there is a widespread view that this parliament has run its course."
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