British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told UK parliament "now is the time to get this thing done" as he pleaded with lawmakers to back his new Brexit plan. His plan to get Parliament to approve his divorce deal with the European Union was thrown into doubt Saturday, as lawmakers were first given a vote on whether - yet again - to delay their final decision on Brexit. At a rare weekend sitting of Parliament, Johnson implored legislators to ratify the deal he struck this week with the other 27 EU leaders. He said members of the House of Commons should "come together as democrats to end this debilitating feud" that has wracked the country for more than three years. But he may not get the vote he craves. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he would first allow a vote on an amendment that essentially puts the vote on the deal off until another day. Those behind the amendment say it will remove the risk that the UK could stumble out of the bloc without a deal on Oct. 31 because the law is not in place. If the amendment passes, it also will force Johnson to seek a delay from the EU to Britain's departure, due to take place in less than two weeks on Oct. 31. The prime minister signalled that he would do that under duress. Since striking a deal with the EU on Thursday, Johnson has been imploring and arm-twisting both Conservative and opposition lawmakers as he tries to win majority support for his deal. Johnson's Conservative Party holds only 288 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, so he will have to rely on support from other parties and independent lawmakers to get over the line. The result looks set to be close.
London and Brussels have agreed on a Brexit deal... but it still has to get the backing of British MPs and the European Parliament. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said it meant there was no longer a need to extend the divorce deadline beyond October 31. "I am happy about the deal, but sad about Brexit," Juncker said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. EU summit: Follow minute-by-minute updates as Brexit deal 'agreed' What's in Boris Johnson's Brexit deal with the European Union? Northern Ireland's DUP rejects plan 'as things stand' Johnson said: "I hope very much now, speaking of elected representatives, that my fellow employees in Westminster do now come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line and to deliver Brexit without any more delay." British MPs will sit on Saturday and vote on whether to back the agreement. If not, legislation requires Johnson — who has pledged to take the country out of the EU by October 31 — to ask the EU for a Brexit extension. Warm words for Britain Brussels chiefs, speaking after EU27 leaders unanimously ratified the modified divorce deal, had warms words for the United Kingdom. "What I feel, personally, is sadness because in my heart I will always be a Remainer," Donald Tusk, president of the European Council said. "I hope if our British friends decide to return one day our door will always be open." Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, echoed this sentiment by saying: "Brexit has been a negative experience and is a lose-lose process." Barnier said he had not been "aggressive or vengeful" at any stage during the Brexit process and that he has "great respect for the British". Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar, standing alongside Tusk, Barnier and Juncker, said he viewed the UK's departure like "an old friend that's going on a journey". He added he thought there would "always a place at the table if they choose ...
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Thousands of Brexit opponents gathered in central London on Saturday calling for Britain to remain part of the European Union. The crowds planned to converge on Parliament Square as legislators voted on Brexit departure plans put forth by Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Many carried signs calling for a halt to the Brexit process that started with a 2016 referendum in which British voters narrowly backed taking Britain out of the 28-nation bloc. Earlier in the week, Johnson reached an agreement with the European Union on a new Withdrawal Agreement ahead of Britain's scheduled departure from the bloc on October 31
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