LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (all times local):
British lawmakers have put a roadblock in the path of any attempt to take Britain out of the European Union without a divorce deal.
The House of Commons passed a motion Thursday that stops the government from suspending Parliament in the weeks before the U.K.’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure date.
Boris Johnson, who is likely to be elected Britain’s new prime minister next week, has not ruled out such a suspension if lawmakers try to block his Brexit plan. He says the country must leave the EU on schedule, even if that means quitting the bloc without a divorce deal.
Most economists say a no-deal Brexit would batter the economy, and a majority of lawmakers opposes leaving without an agreement.
Thursday’s 315-274 Commons vote saw several ministers abstain rather than support the government’s call to keep suspending Parliament as an option.
Britain’s economic watchdog says the U.K. will plunge into recession if it leaves the European Union without a divorce deal, with the pound plunging in value and the economy shrinking by 2% in a year.
The Office for Budget Responsibility made its assessment as chances of an economically disruptive no-deal Brexit appear to be rising.Both men vying to take over next week as Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, say they will lead the U.K. out of the bloc, with or without an agreement on terms.
They claim that Britain can withstand any resulting turbulence, but most economists predict the economic shock would be severe.
The OBR says a no-deal Brexit would see “heightened uncertainty and declining confidence deter investment, while higher trade barriers with the EU weigh on exports.” It predicted GDP would fall by 2% by the end of 2020 in a no-deal scenario, and borrowing would be around 30 billion pounds ($37 billion) a year higher.
Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31.
Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit