British government loses its majority

(BBC) – Conservative MP Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of a showdown between Boris Johnson and Tory rebels over Brexit.

Dr Lee, the MP for Bracknell, took his seat on the opposition benches as the PM addressed the Commons.

His defection means Boris Johnson no longer has a working majority in the House of Commons.

He said the government was “pursuing a damaging Brexit in unprincipled ways… putting lives and livelihoods at risk”.

Mr Johnson has vowed to leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal, but a number of MPs against no deal have come together across party political lines to try to stop it happening.

They have submitted a motion for an emergency debate to Commons Speaker John Bercow, and if successful, they will bring forward a bill that would force the prime minister to ask for Brexit to be delayed until 31 January, unless MPs approve a new deal, or vote in favour of a no-deal exit, by 19 October.

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