Friday, 05 June, 2020


Downing St rejects snap election beyond 31 October

UK Parliament takes on pivotal day on Brexit Downing St rejects snap election beyond 31 October
Bennie Garza | 05 September, 2019, 15:27

Between 15 to 20 Conservative members of parliament, mostly former cabinet ministers, are collaborating with Labour and other opposition parties to take control of the House of Commons agenda to pass an emergency law in a bid to stop the no-deal Brexit.

The government was defeated by 328 to 301 on a motion put forward by opposition parties and rebel lawmakers in Johnson's party - who had been warned they would be kicked out of the Conservative Party if they defied the government.

Britain's pound plunged to its lowest level in two years after Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to call a general election in October.

In a letter to the prime minister, he said Brexit divisions had "sadly transformed this once great party into something more akin to a narrow faction in which one's Conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wants to leave the European Union".

The government's closed-door meetings with rebel MPs and open ultimatum failed to change the situation on the ground in the government's favor as the parliament returns on Tuesday after summer recess.

Johnson has rejected the divorce deal on the table but insists he wants to reach an agreement with Brussels to ease the end of Britain's 46-year-old European Union membership.

Brexit vote result: What does result mean for Boris Johnson?

Johnson has received a boost in the opinion polls by his assertive action against parliament over Brexit.

As protesters on the streets outside Parliament denounced a "coup", the lawmakers turned to a key piece of legislation that would prevent an immediate no-deal Brexit.

"I don't want an election, we don't want an election ... we want to get the deal done and the best way ... to get a deal is to support the government in the lobbies tonight", he told a raucous session of Parliament.

As Johnson played Brexit chess with lawmakers, opponents cast his tactics as undemocratic, including an order to suspend parliament for more than a month beginning next week.

Addressing the nation outside Number 10, the Prime Minister insisted "I don't want an election, you don't want an election" but moments later a senior Government source said any bid to "wreck" the UK's negotiating position would prompt a motion for an early election.

Boris Johnson's working majority in the Commons has been wiped out just hours before a crunch vote on Brexit.

The U.S. investment bank JPMorgan said an election would make a no-deal Brexit more likely.

Despite the arcane technicalities of this argument, the fears over the Prime Minister using his prerogative powers to try to outfox the opposition show how deep the level of distrust there is in Westminster.

Johnson implicitly warned lawmakers on Monday that he would seek an election if they tied his hands, ruling out ever countenancing a further delay to Brexit, scheduled for October 31.

He said his party was ready for a general election at any time.

"They do not want to hold an election", he said.

"Let's get Brexit done by October the 31st".

Former Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, one of the rebel Tory sponsors of the cross-party legislation, also said he would not fight the next election due to a "fundamental, and unresolvable disagreement with our party leadership" over Brexit.

Johnson, who started the day with 311 MPs and a majority of one, finished it with 289, very much the leader of a minority government.

"This is parliament's last chance to block a no-deal exit on 31st October", Conservative MP Oliver Letwin told parliament. "In the last few weeks, the chances of a deal have been rising, I believe, for three reasons: They can see that we want a deal, they can see that we have a clear vision for our future relationship with the European Union (something that has not always perhaps been the case) and they can see that we are utterly determined to strengthen our position by getting ready to come out regardless, come what may".

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