Brexit vote setback for Boris Johnson in Parliament

10:03 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

You'll find yourself in court if you break the law, Johnson told

"Today is a historic day for Parliament," says Jeremy Corbyn, adding that MPs "will not be blackmailed by the Prime Minister."

"I invite him to think very carefully about the remarks he just made," Corbyn adds, warning Boris Johnson not to break the law.

The SNP's Ian Blackford follows Corbyn, saying Johnson "thinks he's above the law ... prime minister, you'll find yourself in court."

And Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader, asks the Speaker of the House to suspend the sitting so Johnson can send the letter to the EU requesting an extension -- a request which is denied.

9:56 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

Boris Johnson signals he may *ignore* the law forcing him to delay Brexit

"Alas, the opportunity to have a meaningful vote has effectively been passed up," Boris Johnson says in Parliament, after losing the vote on Oliver Letwin's amendment. "The meaningful vote has been voided of meaning."

"I'm not dismayed by this particular result," he says. "The best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31."

He then indicates he may not follow the Benn Act, which mandates him to now request a Brexit delay tonight.

"I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so," he says. "Further delay will be bad for this country."

Johnson also says Brexit legislation will come back to the Commons next week.

9:51 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

BREAKING: Setback for Johnson as Letwin amendment passes

MPs have supported the Letwin amendment, which delays a decision on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and rules out a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

It’s a big defeat for Boris Johnson, who may now pull the vote on his Brexit deal later today.

The Prime Minister is now also forced to seek an extension to Brexit tonight.

9:44 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

A look inside the voting lobby

A result on the Letwin amendment vote is imminent...

9:30 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

HAPPENING NOW: MPs voting on Letwin amendment

Lawmakers are voting now on the Letwin amendment, which has the potential to upend the Brexit process by withholding support of Boris Johnson's deal until he has passed all the other legislation needed to avoid a no-deal.

The government plans to pull its vote on the main deal if Letwin passes, a senior government source told CNN earlier.

Voting should take about 15 minutes.

9:21 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

Another former Conservative is voting against the Letwin amendment

Former Conservative MP (and Winston Churchill's grandson) Nicholas Soames is voting against the Letwin amendment, and for Boris Johnson's deal, he has just tweeted.

He joins Alistair Burt, who like Soames was expelled from the Conservative party by Boris Johnson for opposing a no-deal, in refusing to back the amendment.

It's going to be tight.

9:16 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

Breaking: Trespasser arrested at Parliament

A 29-year-old man has been arrested at the Palace of Westminster for “trespassing at a protected site”, City of Westminster Police said on Saturday.

“He has been taken to a south London police station. Enquiries ongoing,” police said on Twitter.

Responding to the incident, a spokesperson for House of Commons authorities said: "We are aware of an incident involving a visitor in a public area of the Parliamentary estate. Security staff and the Police attended and the situation has been resolved."

A large anti-Brexit protest is ongoing around Parliament.

9:06 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

Thousands of protesters are lining London's streets

Peter Summers/Getty Images
Peter Summers/Getty Images

Take a look at the vast crowds gathering in central London, as part of a People's Vote march demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

A handful of politicians are set to run out of the chamber and address the crowds during the afternoon, ahead of the crunch vote later.

9:02 a.m. ET, October 19, 2019

Members of the public are queuing up in Parliament to witness history


Westminster is buzzing. Sitting just outside the reporters' gallery, silence is sporadically broken by the cheering and jeering of lawmakers meters away. Occasionally, the noise from the anti-Brexit demonstrators who have shut down a major part of central London drifts through the windows. 

Inside Parliament, members of the public are eager to get into the public gallery to watch MPs debate the future of this country.

If you wanted an idea of how important today is: people are standing in a queue to join another queue. At the end of the second queue, you can watch the debate on television while waiting for up to four hours to take a seat in the public gallery, which holds about 100-120 people. 

Inside the debating chamber, the mood is tense. It doesn't take much for the Brexit factions, who have been arguing now for three years, to erupt and start yelling at one another. 

It's no doubt going to be raucous later when they actually get to vote on things. 

Outside Parliament, anti-Brexit and pro-Brexit demonstrators are paving the street. Today there happens to be an anti-Brexit rally so one side is better represented. But the streets are thick with people waving flags and holding signs. 

How today ultimately plays out remains anyone's guess. But it's obvious to anyone that something important is happening.