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Five-week UK parliament shut-down begins

Parliament has officially been suspended for five weeks, with MPs not due back until 14 October, the BBC reports.

It comes after PM Boris Johnson’s bid to call a snap election in October was defeated for a second time.

Opposition MPs refused to back it, insisting a law blocking a no-deal Brexit must be implemented first.

In all, 293 MPs voted for the prime minister’s motion for an early election, far short of the two thirds needed.

Mr Johnson will be holding a meeting with his cabinet in Downing Street later this morning.

At present, UK law states that the country will leave the EU on 31 October, regardless of whether a withdrawal deal has been agreed with Brussels or not.

But new legislation, which was granted royal assent on Monday, changes that, and will force the prime minister to seek a delay until 31 January 2020 unless a deal – or a no-deal exit – is approved by MPs by 19 October.

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