Boris Johnson mulls snap poll amid Brexit battle with MPs

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 00:00 |
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and party’s shadow Chancellor John McDonnell wait ahead of Corbyn’s keynote speech on Brexit in Salford, yesterday. Photo/PD/ AFP

London, Monday

Boris Johnson is considering seeking an early General Election if MPs seeking to block a no-deal Brexit defeat the government this week.

Discussions were ongoing on Monday in No 10 Downing Street about asking Parliament to approve a snap poll. Journalists said it could happen as soon as Wednesday but no final decision had been taken.

Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the prime minister could call a General Election if two-thirds of MPs vote for one.

Tory ex-ministers are joining forces with Labour to stop the UK leaving the EU on October 31 without a deal.

Boris has said the UK must leave the EU on October 31, with or without a deal, prompting a number of MPs to unite to try to prevent the move.

They are expected to put forward legislation on Tuesday to stop no-deal under Standing Order 24, the rule allowing MPs to ask for a debate on a “specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration”.

Boris poured oil on the political fire by deciding last week to suspend parliament—a legal but highly contentious manoeuvre— for more than a month.

He was scheduled to meet his Cabinet later on Monday. 

Both Brussels and London now view a no-deal end to the four-decade partnership as the most likely outcome.

Jeremy Corbyn says the UK needs a general election, despite warnings from Tony Blair that such a vote would be “an elephant trap” for Labour.

The ex-PM warned that Boris Johnson could win such a vote as “some may fear a Corbyn premiership more” than a no-deal Brexit.

But Corbyn said a vote “would give the people a choice between two very different directions for the country”.

“An election is the democratic way forward. When a government finds itself without a majority the solution is not to undermine democracy. The solution is to let the people decide and call a general election,” he added.

Brexit campaign

Meanwhile, an information campaign urging the public to “get ready for Brexit” has been launched by the government.

The campaign began on Sunday with the launch of a website,

Billboards and social media adverts will follow in the coming days. Leaflets, online seminars, and information stands at events will also be used.

Michael Gove, who is in charge of no-deal plans, said the adverts encourage “shared responsibility” for preparing to leave the EU on October 31.

According to the campaign, some sections of society “do not need to take any action” to prepare for Brexit. People on that list are British citizens who both live and work in the UK and do not plan to travel abroad. -BBC

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