Yesterday, the House of Commons voted by 328 to 301 to take control of the Order Paper and allow the introduction of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill today. The Bill is designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019 and appears likely to pass to the House of Lords this evening.
21 Conservative MPs voted against the Government yesterday and have now had the Conservative Whip removed. Earlier in the day, another Conservative MP, Dr Philip Lee, defected to the Liberal Democrats. Consequently, the Government has lost its majority.
Following last night’s defeat, the Prime Minister stated that the Government would move a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act to trigger a general election. The motion requires a two-thirds majority to succeed, which is unlikely because Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will oppose a general election until the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill has received royal assent. MPs will vote on the motion pertaining to a general election at around 7.00pm.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid MP, will deliver his Spending Round statement to Parliament at approximately 1pm today. The fast-tracked Spending Round will set departmental budgets for 2020-21. A full, multi-year Spending Review is due to take place in 2020.