The Straits Times says

Britain falls further into the unknown

Not a good start, Boris, shouted one British MP immediately after Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a crucial vote in Parliament on Tuesday, which effectively prevented a no-deal Brexit. It got worse for Mr Johnson. On Wednesday, the Opposition, joined by rebels from the ruling Conservative Party, passed legislation which could effectively force him to ask the European Union for an extension to the Brexit deadline - which he had vowed would be Oct 31 - unless he can get a deal through before then, which is unlikely. Mr Johnson then proposed a snap election in mid-October, but failed to get the two-thirds majority to enable this because the Opposition and rebel Tory lawmakers insisted that a no-deal legislation must be in place before an election is called.

So after these repeated defeats for Mr Johnson and his allies, it seems that a no-deal Brexit, at least by Oct 31, is now off the table. Moreover, Mr Johnson has not only lost his razor-thin parliamentary majority, but he has also expelled 23 Tory rebels from his party, including such grandees as former finance ministers Philip Hammond and Kenneth Clarke, as well as Winston Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames. Very soon, he will likely have an election to fight. So while it appears that a no-deal Brexit will not happen, or at least is not imminent, it is far from clear where things will go from here, or how Britain will extricate itself from the political mess it has, sadly, fallen into.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2019, with the headline 'Britain falls further into the unknown'. Print Edition | Subscribe