Downing Street has confirmed that Cabinet ministers have been summoned for an impromptu meeting with the prime minister this evening amidst reports there could be a pre-Brexit snap General Election.
A Downing Street source told Sky News: “The PM is hosting all Tory MPs at Number 10 this evening. He is taking the opportunity to see cabinet as well… and they will discuss the government’s response to MPs seeking to take control of the legislative agenda away from the government and handing it to the opposition and Corbyn without the consent of the people.
“The view is that tomorrow’s possible vote is an expression of confidence in the government’s negotiating position to secure a deal and will be treated as such.”
No10 suggest that “confidence in negotiating position” not nec same as formal issue of confidence meaning they try and engineer general election automatically if they lose
It’s a nuance, but means they are not confirming GE if rebels win tomorrow
Let’s see post cabinet https://t.co/s1yoteHuQd
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) September 2, 2019
Normally, Cabinet meetings are on a Tuesday morning and this change to the schedule comes after Mr Johnson warned his colleagues they will have the party whip removed if they backed opposition parties’ attempts to stop a no deal Brexit on October 31st.
Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly attempted to downplay the significance of Johnson’s threat, saying: “This is the standard relationship MPs have with the party of government.
“We expect Conservative MPs to support the Conservative prime minister, the Conservative agenda and politicians shouldn’t seek to take the authority of government away from government and hand it to the leader of the opposition.”
A reported two dozen Tory rebels are expected to be joining Corbyn and other Remain-backing parties to force a defeat of Johnson’s attempts to deliver Brexit.
Mr Cleverly was asked if he would “categorically” rule out calling an election, but refused to do so three times, at one point responding: “We’re hearing people suggest all kinds of things that they could try and do, constitutional shenanigans to try and prevent the government delivering its agenda.
“We want to get on governing for the British people. Getting us out of the EU by 31 October and delivering on those domestic promises that we’ve made.
“That’s what we’re focused on doing. What other people might do, that’s up to them, the government is focused on delivering for the British people.”
There are "very real, very live conversations happening at the moment" on whether or not the government should call an election "in the next 72 hours", says Political Editor @BBCLauraKhttps://t.co/YDa9R72zOO #politicslive #Brexit pic.twitter.com/eL2imI186y
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 2, 2019
The Telegraph reports there is growing speculation of a pre-Brexit General Election, while sources speaking to The Guardian have said that the cross-party rebels believe the prime minister could seek a snap election as early as Wednesday, and that polling day would come before October 31st.
On Sunday, a senior aide had told The Sun that Johnson would trigger an election if his Brexit plans were blocked, saying: “It’s clear an election is looming on the horizon. The only question is when.
“We’ll probably have a better idea after the events of the next few days have played out.”
Johnson would need a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons to call a snap election, under the the rules of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, and thus would need support from the Oppsition.
Speaking against Brexit this morning, globalist-progressive Tony Blair however urged the Labour Party to reject calls for a snap General Election — which he called an “elephant trap” — fearing that his party would fail to take control of the government under the leadership of socialist Jeremy Corbyn, saying: “If the Government tries to force an election now, Labour should vote against it.”
A poll from last month revealed that a majority of Britons backed a no deal Brexit over a Corbyn premiership and second referendum.