Letter from Boris: an Election on December 12? Johnson Calls for Election… for Third Time

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street prior to PMQ's on October 23, 2019 in London, England. MPs have voted against the three-day timetable for Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bill, saying it wasn’t enough time for the 110-page bill to receive proper parliamentary scrutiny. (Photo …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a general election on December 12th, scrapping his pledge to leave the European Union by October 31st, “do or die”.

Boris Johnson has offered Parliament additional time to consider his Brexit withdrawal agreement in exchange for the opposition voting for a general election. Mr Johnson will table a motion on Monday to hold an election on December 12th; in return, MPs would have until November 6th to consider his Brexit deal.

In his letter to Mr Corbyn, the prime minister implored the opposition leader to accept his proposal, saying that any additional delay to Brexit would “cause misery to millions” and that it was Parliament’s “duty to end this nightmare and provide the country with a solution as soon as we reasonably can”.

Johnson went on to write: “These repeated delays have been bad for the economy, bad for businesses, and bad for millions of people trying to plan their futures.”

The prime minister’s withdrawal bill cleared its first obstacle in the House of Commons earlier this week but failed to gain enough support to secure a timetable that would guarantee the United Kingdom would leave on the scheduled date of October 31st.

Boris Johnson is unable to call for an election with Tory votes alone as he is bound by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which states that elections must be held every five years on the first Thursday of May. The next scheduled election is in 2022, and in order to hold an early vote, there must be a two-thirds vote of support in the House of Commons.

The Labour Party has already voted down two similar election proposals by Mr Johnson, and Jeremy Corbyn has yet to respond to Boris’s latest call for an election.

If the Labour Party and Corbyn deny Boris a general election, Number 10 has pledged that the government would go on strike, according to The Guardian.

A spokesman for the prime minister said: “Nothing will come before parliament but the bare minimum. We will pursue a general election every day from then onwards, and do everything we can to get it.

“The prime minister wants to get his deal done by 31 October. If this parliament is unwilling to vote for a deal, then we will have to go for a general election. If there were a general election called, we would campaign on the fact that we’ve got a great deal that will get Brexit done.”

A poll conducted earlier this week by YouGov found that Britons supported a general election by a margin of two-to-one.

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