British parliamentarians inflicted a new defeat on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hard-line Brexit strategy on Wednesday by passing a law that could prevent him from taking Britain out of the European Union without an agreement next month.
In a second parliamentary revolt in the same number of days, the House of Commons voted 327 to 299 in favor of a bill that could delay Brexit for three months.
He will now be examined by the House of Lords, but his peers only have a few days to pass the bill before Johnson suspends parliament next week.
The prime minister asked Parliament to vote in favor of holding early elections on October 15, insisting that Britain should leave the EU as planned on October 31, with or without an agreement with Brussels.
He promised that he would "never allow" the delay and insisted that the bill "give up" control over the Brexit negotiations to Brussels.
The government has already submitted a voting motion on Wednesday to call early elections before an EU summit on October 17.
However, in another turn in the tortuous Brexit process, the opposition Labor Party is expected to retain its support for an election, which requires the backing of two thirds of parliamentarians, until the law receives final approval.
The defeat comes the day after parliamentarians challenged the government in a preparatory vote on the Brexit bill on Tuesday night, including 21 of Johnson's own conservative lawmakers, several of them distinguished former ministers.
He expelled everyone from the party, depriving his government of six weeks of a parliamentary majority.
However, Downing Street said Johnson would not give up what happens on Wednesday, and US President Donald Trump offered his support.
“Boris knows how to win. Do not worry about him. It will be fine, "he told reporters at the White House.
Johnson took office in July, three years after the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU, promising to deliver Brexit no matter what.
He says he wants to renegotiate the divorce agreement that his predecessor, Theresa May, agreed with Brussels, arguing that his threat to leave without "agreement" will force EU leaders to agree on better terms.
But so far the block has refused to reopen the text, and an important EU source poured cold water on Wednesday on the idea that any last-minute agreement could reach an agreement at the Brussels summit next month.
Meanwhile, the European Commission said Britain had not yet found any alternative to the most controversial element of the current agreement, the so-called "back-up" plan for the Irish border.
Union leader Jeremy Corbyn said the negotiations Johnson spoke of "are a farce, all he is doing is falling behind."
But Johnson insisted that his team, which met with customs experts in Brussels on Wednesday, was making "substantial progress" to reach an agreement.
The European Commission said the risk of a "no-deal" exit has increased, a prospect that many fear due to the economic damage it will likely cause by cutting 46 years of ties between the United Kingdom and the EU overnight.
However, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said Wednesday that the institution believed the impact would be "less severe" than previously anticipated, in part due to government preparations.
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Parliamentarians voted on Tuesday to clear the schedule of the Commons on Wednesday to discuss their own legislation on Brexit, which they then passed in approximately five hours.
His bill would force the government to delay Brexit until January 31 unless it has agreed to an exit agreement or secured the approval of parliamentarians to "not reach an agreement" before October 19.
But it also increases the possibility of delaying Brexit, and Johnson warned that it would only cause "more confusion" and destroy any hope of an agreement.
In order for it to come into effect, the bill must now be approved by the Lords, who prepared for a rare night session on Wednesday, and some brought sleeping bags to the chamber.
Johnson previously challenged Labor leader Corbyn to back his call for an election, to "let people decide" how to resolve the Brexit stalemate.
However, Labor is expected to refrain from an internal debate over whether to hold elections before or after Brexit.
"We are not going to vote with Johnson today," Labor Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said.
"We want a general election, but we are not dancing at their own pace."