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Boris T

THIN ICE COULD SINK BORIS – Boris Johnson puts Brexit deal on ice to force general election


Boris Johnson will make a fresh attempt to force a December election on Tuesday after claiming he had “snookered” Jeremy Corbyn by agreeing to put his Brexit deal on ice.

28th Oct 2019

The Prime Minister announced that a Parliamentary Bill calling for a general election on Dec 12 will be put to a vote on Tuesday, meaning the five-week campaign would start next week.

Mr Johnson made his move after he had seemingly agreed a deal with the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, but neither party would formally commit to voting with the Government because of a last-minute row over dates.

The LibDems and SNP had wanted an election on Dec 9, partly to maximise their vote from students who will still be at university, and talks between the three parties were continuing into Monday night which could mean the date being changed to Dec 10 or 11.

Mr Johnson said: “We will not let this paralysis continue. It is time for the voters to have a chance to…replace this dysfunctional Parliament with a new one that can get Brexit done.”


Mr Johnson triggered his Plan B after failing for a third time to get MPs to back a motion for an “early election”. Under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act it needed 434 MPs, two thirds of all members, to vote for it, but only 299 MPs backed it.

What makes Tuesday’s vote different is that the date of an election would be fixed in law, meaning the Prime Minister could not move it to a more tactically advantageous date, as opposition parties feared. A Bill also needs only a simple majority of MPs to back it, making it far more likely to pass.

By agreeing to shelve his Withdrawal Agreement Bill until after the election, Mr Johnson believes the LibDems and SNP will back a December poll because it means they can go into an election promising to stop Brexit happening.

Brussels confirmed it was granting a three-month extension to Article 50, meaning Brexit will almost certainly be delayed until then even if Mr Johnson wins an election.

Meanwhile Labour’s position descended into farce after it emerged Mr Corbyn could tell his MPs to back an election just 24 hours after telling them not to.


Members of the shadow cabinet have warned Mr Corbyn that Labour will look ridiculous if they insist on “swimming against the tide”, and will give ammunition to opponents who have accused them of being afraid of facing voters.

Mr Corbyn signalled Labour could now back an election by saying he would “carefully consider” the Bill being put forward.

Mr Johnson said of Mr Corbyn: “He can run, but he cannot hide forever. Across Parliament, his supposed allies are deserting him. The SNP, I now read, are in favour of an election, and the Lib Dems are in favour of an election.

“I hope he accepts tonight that he is snookered, that this charade has gone on for long enough, that he will…allow us to make our cases to the people.”

He goaded Mr Corbyn by telling him it was time for him to “move his rusty Trabant from the yellow box junction where he is currently blocking progress”.

The apparent softening of Labour’s stance came after splits on the party’s frontbench widened, with several of Mr Corbyn’s allies expressing concern that their position is becoming “unsustainable”. 

Many of them are understood to harbour concerns that Labour could end up heading into a December election as the only major party to have tried to stop it from taking place. 



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