British lawmakers from across the political spectrum are expected to challenge Prime Minister Boris Johnson's drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in three days, potentially scuttling plans to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31.
The 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.
While many analysts expect the bill to be approved, lawmakers may reject the three-day timetable because of concerns it doesn't provide enough time for scrutiny.
The showdown comes just nine days before Britain's scheduled departure date. Johnson's government had sought a "straight up-and-down vote" Monday on the agreement he struck last week with the 27 other EU nations laying out the terms of Britain's exit.
The speaker of Britain's House of Commons on Monday rejected the government's bid for a new vote on its Brexit divorce deal, in a blow to Johnson's plan to take the country out of the EU at the end of the month.
Speaker John Bercow says the vote the government wants is "in substance the same" as one held on Saturday and so breaches Parliament's rules. He said it would be "repetitive and disorderly" to allow a new vote Monday.
Bercow has vocally opposed decisions by Johnson as he pursues the EU divorce.
His ruling plunged the tortuous Brexit process back into grimly familiar territory. The government must now try to implement its Plan B — attempt to pass a Brexit-implementing bill through Britain's fractious Parliament before the country's scheduled Oct. 31 departure date.
Opposition lawmakers plan to seek amendments that could substantially alter the bill, for example by adding a requirement that the Brexit deal be put to voters in a new referendum. The government says such an amendment would wreck its legislation and it will withdraw the bill if the opposition plan succeeds.
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the EU late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain's impending departure from the bloc, as required by law. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
"While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister, and made clear to Parliament again today, my view, and the government's position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our EU partners, and the relationship between us," Johnson wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk.
EU officials haven't yet responded to the request.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.