UK Prime Minister Johnson’s do-or-die aim to leave the EU by end of October failed, a snap election is his fallback option.
He’s hoping to regain a parliamentary majority — lost after expelling 21 Tories in September for opposing his Brexit agenda.
On Thursday, he asked MPs to approve a December 12 general election. According to Britain’s Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), a two-thirds House of Commons majority is needed for approval.
Since taking office on July 23, he sought new elections three times, defeated earlier, Thursday his latest attempt — opposed by Labor.
Party whip Nick Brown said Labor was united against Johnson’s aim for new elections to try forcing adoption of his no-Brexit/Brexit deal if able to win a ruling majority, adding:
Labor will agree to snap elections once leaving the EU without a deal is off the table, party leader Jeremy Corbyn saying:
“Take no-deal off the table and we absolutely support a general election. I’ve been calling for an election ever since the last one because this country needs one to deal with all the social injustice issues – but no-deal must be taken off the table. The EU will decide whether there is an extension…and then we can decide.”
Shadow cabinet official Jon Trickett tweeted:
“Let’s be absolutely clear. Getting rid of this awful Tory government is our top priority. Our troops are ready, the party is fully prepared. Let’s get at them!!”
Pro-Labor Momentum group national coordinator Laura Parker said: Bring it on…(I)n 2017, Momentum’s campaign swung key seats for Labour. This time we’re going to run the biggest people-powered campaign the country has ever seen.”
It’s unclear how many MPs back a snap election without resolution of Brexit or a new referendum.
Current developments followed advancement of Johnson’s no-Brexit/Brexit deal last Tuesday, majority MPs rejecting its timetable, leaving the issue in limbo for further debate and possible revisions.
On October 19 as mandated by law, Johnson sought a Brexit delay from Brussels beyond the current October 31 deadline.
EU officials are considering whether to extend it to January 31, perhaps a shorter or longer period, some extension likely, perhaps announced Friday or early next week.
Unnamed Downing Street sources said if MPs reject a snap election, Johnson will continue campaigning for one, urging public support to try gaining enough parliamentary support.
Separately, Corbyn said Labor isn’t “resisting the chance to have an election. We want an election because we want to take our case to the people of this country but we do not want this country to be in any danger of crashing out of the EU without a deal because of all the damage that will do to jobs, services and trade all over this country.”
New elections are likely ahead once leaving the EU without a deal is ruled out.
A Final Comment
In response to Johnson’s threat to pull the unresolved Brexit deal if Labor rejects a snap election, Brussels may delay offering an extension beyond the October 31 deadline.
Unnamed EU sources said France wants resolution up or down on whether they’ll be a snap election before agreeing to one, the other bloc states ready to grant it to January 31.
Given Brexit impasse with the October 31 deadline fast approaching, EU states will likely extend the deadline no later than early next week.
Note: On Friday, Reuters reported that Brussels agreed in principle to a Brexit delay, announcing to what date delayed until next week.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.