Tory rebels and opposition MPs have defeated the government in the first stage of their attempt to pass a law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, meaning they can bring forward a bill seeking to delay the UK’s exit date.
In response, Boris Johnson said he would bring forward a motion for an early general election.
Jeremy Corbyn said the bill should be passed before an election was held.
In total 21 Tory MPs, including a number of ex-cabinet ministers, joined opposition parties to defeat the government.
The government warned in advance that it would remove the whip – effectively expel – any MPs who chose to vote against it.
The prime minister said the move would “hand control” of Brexit negotiations to the EU and bring “more dither, more delay, more confusion”.
He told MPs he had no choice but to press ahead with efforts to call an October election, adding: “The people of this country will have to choose.”