Election Looks Likely as Labour’s Corbyn Said He Will Back PM’s Proposal

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks in the House of Commons in London during the debate for the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, Tuesday Oct. 22, 2019. British lawmakers have rejected the government’s fast-track attempt to pass its Brexit bill within days, demanding more time to scrutinize the …
Jessica Taylor, UK Parliament via AP

A snap election looks certain after Jeremy Corbyn said he would back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bill calling for a December 12th vote.

On Monday night, MPs rejected the prime minster’s request for an election for the third time. Labour and other MPs abstained, and in total, MPs voted 299-70 to hold a General Election. However, an election cannot be triggered without the support of two-thirds of all 650 lawmakers under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act introduced by David Cameron to appease then-Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg in 2011.

The prime minister will now put forward a new, one-line bill that only requires a simple majority. Mr Johnson hopes an election will clear out the House of Remainers who continue to obstruct the fulfilment of the 2016 referendum result.

The Conservatives do not have a majority in the House of Commons, however, so will require support from the opposition members. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn confirmed on Tuesday morning that he would back a December General Election in a major about-turn on his previous position.

According to a statement from Mr Corbyn seen by The Mirror, the Labour leader said: “I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a No Deal Brexit being off the table.

“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to 31st January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking No Deal off the table has now been met.

“We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, said that the government wants all debate stages of the bill to take place on Tuesday, according to the BBC, with the Conservative MP saying the bill would be “extremely short, simple, and limited in scope”. The House of Lords would later consider the proposed legislation before becoming law.

On Monday, Mr Johnson wrote to the European Council to formally accept a third Brexit delay, a “flextension” to January 31st, 2020. Parliament had forced through a law that compelled the prime minister to request an extension after he had pledged to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st.

Speaking after the government lost the vote last night, Prime Minister Johnson said that “this House cannot any longer keep this country hostage”.

“I do not believe that this paralysis and this stagnation should be allowed to continue,” he added, continuing that it was time “to replace this dysfunctional Parliament with a new Parliament that can get Brexit done so the country can move on”.

“An election… would allow a new Parliament and a new Government to be in place by Christmas. Without that hard stop of an election, without that moment of truth, the electorate will, I am afraid, have a sense that we are all like Charlie Brown, endlessly running up to kick the ball, only to have Parliament whisk it away yet again, only to find that Parliament is willing to go on delaying and delaying, to the end of January, to February and beyond,” Prime Minister Johnson said.

“We cannot continue with this endless delay,” he added.


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