Johnson Considers Early Elections as Brexit Battle Intensifies

  • A vote to stop a No Deal Brexit could occur on Wednesday, which the Prime Minister's Office is treating as a confidence motion.
  • Amid mounting speculation, Johnson held an emergency cabinet meeting at 17:00 BST, and spoke with Conservatives in Parliament on Monday afternoon.
  • Some parliamentarians fear Johnson could delay early elections until November, after Britain is scheduled to leave the EU, with or without a deal.

Boris Johnson is considering holding early general elections if MPs want to prevent an exit from the EU without an agreement and defeat the government this week. Reports say that “live debates” were underway at the Prime Minister’s residence, on the request for parliamentary approval for early elections.

According to news sources, this could happen on Wednesday, but no final decision has yet been made. Former ruling Conservative ministers are joining forces with the opposition Labour Party to halt the Brexit process without an agreement.

A No Deal Brexit involves the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. The UK and EU negotiated an agreement, but ratification by Parliament failed three times. Significant disruption to established trade flows is anticipated, and shortages of certain goods is feared in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

Amid mounting speculation, Johnson held an emergency cabinet meeting at 17:00 BST, and spoke with Conservatives in Parliament on Monday afternoon. The Prime Minister has said that Britain should leave the EU on October 31, with or without an agreement, prompting a number of MPs to join forces to prevent this.

They are expected to submit draft legislation on Tuesday to stop the exit without an agreement, based on parliamentary rules followed in the discussion of important and urgent matters. The Conservative Party has warned the rebels will be expelled from the party and deselected from running in future elections if they support the move.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said the government was treating the Brexit vote this week as a confidence motion, meaning it could open the way for early elections if the government loses.

Conservative leaders, despite the threat of expulsion, insist on moving forward with legislation requiring the Prime Minister to seek an extension of the Brexit date if he cannot reach an agreement.

The next general election is scheduled to be held in 2022. If Johnson wants to hold early elections this fall, he must win the approval of two-thirds of the 650 members of Parliament.

If so, he can set a date for the ballot, a matter that may take time, and present it to the Queen. If parliament dissolves on Friday, the earliest possible election date will be Friday, October 11. Because voting is usually on Thursday, elections may be held on Thursday, October 17.

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 introduced a fixed election date for the first time in Westminster history. Under the act, a general election is scheduled for the first Thursday in May of the fifth year after the previous general election. The two exceptions are in the event of a vote by two-thirds of the House or a vote of no confidence in the government.

But parliamentarians against a No Deal Brexit, and those who want to stay in the bloc, are concerned that the Prime Minister could delay an election until early November, after Britain is already out of the European Union, making it impossible to stop a No Deal Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Britain needs to hold a general election because “this will give people the opportunity to choose between two different directions of the country.”

Corbyn dismissed the warnings of former Labour leader Tony Blair, who said early elections were a “trap,” and that Johnson might win, because “some people may fear the idea of ​​Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.”

If elections are held before the end of 2019, it will be the third time within five years, after the 2015 and 2017 elections.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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