The UK Parliament's House of Lords has approved a bill effectively blocking a no-deal Brexit, requiring Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for a three-month extension to London's membership in the EU if parliament has not approved a deal, or agreed to a no-deal Brexit, by October 19.
The bill, endorsed by the House of Commons on Wednesday, passed through the House of Lords on Friday without a formal vote in its final stage, and is expected to be signed into law by Queen Elizabeth on Monday.
The House of Lords' official Twitter account said Queen Elizabeth's signature will be "a formality."
What is royal assent? Royal assent is the monarch's agreement to make the bill into an Act (a law) and is a formality. Find out more about royal assent https://t.co/icgwaWV2Qr— House of Lords (@UKHouseofLords) 6 сентября 2019 г.
A Conservative Party source confirmed to Sputnik, that Royal assent would likely be granted "at the very beginning of next week."
Prime Minister Johnson, who has lobbied this week in favour of a general election on October 15, dubbed the Brexit delay measure a "surrender bill," saying it weakened his negotiating position with Brussels by effectively eliminating the prospect of a no-deal Brexit come October.
Johnson has called for a general election in October to allow Britons to decide who should negotiate Brexit. The opposition has rejected the election call, leaving the proposed election, which requires a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons, with little hope of moving forward.
Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, was in talks with Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon to block Johnson's election call, as Johnson traveled to Scotland on Friday to campaign in favour of a general election. Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democratic Party, and Plaid Cymru have pledged not to back the prime minister's calls for a snap election in a vote on Monday.
The UK held a referendum on its membership in the European Union in 2016, with Britons narrowly voting in favour of exit from the bloc. The UK's withdrawal from the EU has been delayed several times, and has caused the collapse of two Conservative governments. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned following the referendum in 2016. His successor, Theresa May, was forced to step down in July following her inability to deliver on Brexit. Earlier this year, the Brexit deadline, originally set for March 29, was moved to October 31.
Johnson maintains that he is determined to withdraw the UK from the bloc by October 31, deal or no deal. "I'd rather be dead in a ditch," he said in a sharply worded address on Thursday, saying he would prefer this outcome to another delay to Brexit.