British Parliament Hands Boris Johnson Another Brexit Blow. Everything Is Still Chaos.

The Prime Minister is essentially vowing to ignore parliament.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

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In Parliament’s first Saturday session since the Falklands war—dubbed, questionably, “Super Saturday”—Democratic Unionists from Ireland ensured the passage of the Letwin amendment to trigger a Brexit extension request required by the Benn Act. Confused? Me too. Read on.

Heading into the session, Prime Minister Boris Johnson needed the parliament to provide a “meaningful vote” in favor of his Brexit plan before an 11 P.M. deadline on Saturday. Without that support, legislation known as the Benn Act requires Johnson to ask the European Union to push the deadline for leaving the EU back from October 31 to January 31. That’s not what Johnson wants. He has staked his whole prime ministership on getting it done by the end of the month.

The House of Commons rebuffed Johnson on Saturday. In a 322-306 vote, it passed an amendment forcing Johnson to bring the Brexit withdrawal deal he hammered out with Brussels last week before them. Basically: No Brexit, until the parliament can vote on the whole thing.

Outside Parliament, streets were filled with demonstrators who oppose Johnson:

In typical fashion, Johnson is saying he won’t play by the rules—pledging he would not request an extension from EU leaders. “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU,” he said, “and neither does the law compel me to do so.”

Today’s vote could mean a mind-numbing number of new steps to pass the deal, presenting a race against time: EU leaders would need to return to Brussels to approve any new extension. Then there are the UK parliament’s own maneuvers that could continue to stymy the prime minister. And when the House of Commons does take up the deal, Members of Parliament can introduce even more amendments to shape the terms of a Brexit. Read through the thread below for more on the messy mechanics of what happens next:

A simpler take away comes from Peter Bone, a member of Johnsons’ Conservative Party who voted against the Letwin amendment. “I’m fed up. It’s been a complete waste of time. Nothing’s happened and it’s spoiled my birthday,” he said in an interview. “I have to be here talking to you, rather than eating cake.”

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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