Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call a general election rather than allow members of parliament to prevent Britain from leaving the EU at the end of October, Downing Street has confirmed.
MPs will bring forward legislation on Tuesday designed to force Johnson to request a three month extension to Britain’s planned exit from the EU on October 31.
However, speaking outside his Downing Street residence, Johnson said there were “no circumstances,” under which he would request another delay to Brexit from the EU.
“I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay,” he said, adding that “we are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.”
A senior government source confirmed that Johnson will seek a general election, rather than allow another Brexit delay.
“In those circumstances what the MPs will effectively be voting for us a rapid general election,” the source said.
The source added that the government intends to publish a motion on Tuesday calling for a general election in the week of October 14, if MPs vote for a delay.
Johnson said that while “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election,” he would do what was necessary in order to prevent “any attempt to go back on our policies or scrub the result of the referendum.”
The House of Commons is due to vote on plans to force the UK government to seek an extension to the Brexit deadline until January 31 2020.
A bill published on Monday evening by a cross-party group of rebel MPs outlined the details of their plan to prevent Johnson from forcing a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
If passed, it would compel the prime minister to seek an extension to Brexit until January 31 if he had failed to secure a deal by October 19.
Downing Street signaled earlier on Monday that the House of Commons vote on Brexit would be treated as a confidence vote in the government and therefore potentially trigger a general election.
“Tomorrow’s possible vote is an expression of confidence in government’s negotiating position to secure a deal and will be treated as such,” a Downing Street source said.
The next general election is currently scheduled to take place in 2022.
In order for a general election to take place before then, two-thirds of MPs would need to vote for it, under legislation passed by former prime minister David Cameron.
However, opposition MPs are concerned about voting for an election before any extension is agreed by the EU, given that the date of any election would then subsequently be decided by the prime minister.
Read Boris Johnson’s statement in full
Five weeks ago I spoke to you from these steps and said that this Government was not going to hang around and that we would not wait until brexit day – October 31 – to deliver on the priorities of the British people.
And so I am proud to say that on Wednesday Chancellor Sajid Javid is going to set out the most ambitious spending round for more than a decade.
I said I wanted to make your streets safer – and that is why we are recruiting another 20,000 police officers.
I said I wanted to improve your hospital and reduce the waiting times at your GP. And so we are doing 20 new hospital upgrades in addition to the extra £34 billion going into the NHS.
And I said I wanted every child in this country to have a superb education and that’s why I announced last week that we are levelling up funding across the country and spending much more next year in both primary and secondary schools.
And it is to push forward this agenda on these and many other fronts that we need a Queen’s speech in October.
While leaving due time to debate brexit and other matters.
And as we come to that brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making.
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 EU – something that has perhaps not always 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. But if there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum
Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay.
I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t. But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible
And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.
I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.
We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum. Armed and fortified with that conviction I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October. A deal that parliament will certainly be able to scrutinise. And in the meantime let our negotiators get on with their work.
Without that sword of Damocles over their necks and without an election, which I don’t want and you don’t want.
Let us get on with the people’s agenda – fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, and unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom.
With infrastructure education and technology. It is a massive agenda. Let’s come together and get it done – and let’s get Brexit done by October 31.
Credits: Business Insider