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UK prime minister mulls early election over Brexit impasse

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be pushing for an early general election after Parliament blocked a fast-track plan to approve his Brexit deal before Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union on Oct. 31.

Lawmakers on Tuesday backed the substance of Johnson's divorce deal but rejected plans to allow only three days of debate before final consideration of the legislation, saying it didn't provide enough time for scrutiny.

The government is now waiting for the EU's response on a possible extension of the Brexit deadline.

Brexit leave the European Union supporters protest with placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's European Union divorce bill faces two votes Tuesday, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government's schedule for debate and possible amendments. (AP PhotoMatt Dunham)

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC on Wednesday that Parliament's failure to break the logjam means "we are left with the option of a general election ... That seems to me to be the only way to break this impasse."

Anti Brexit demonstrators wave European Union flags outside Parliament in London, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.British lawmakers from across the political spectrum were plotting Tuesday to put the brakes on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days, potentially scuttling the government's hopes of delivering Brexit by Oct. 31.(AP PhotoKirsty Wigglesworth)

Anti Brexit demonstrators wave European Union flags outside Parliament in London, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. British lawmakers from across the political spectrum were plotting Tuesday to put the brakes on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days, potentially scuttling the government's hopes of delivering Brexit by Oct. 31. (AP PhotoKirsty Wigglesworth)