British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intended on Wednesday to put forward a motion to hold snap October elections if UK lawmakers pass a bill outlawing a no-deal Brexit.
The move followed a terrible parliament defeat to the prime minster, as the government was defeated by 328 to 301 on a motion proposed by 21 rebel lawmakers in Johnson’s party and opposition, allowing them to grab control of the parliamentary agenda.
“I don’t want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow (Wednesday) to stop the negotiations and to compel another pointless delay of Brexit, potentially for years, then that will be the only way to resolve this,” Johnson addressed the parliament in the wake of the defeat on Tuesday.
He then tweeted on Wednesday: “(Jeremy) Corbyn and his surrender bill would mean years of uncertainty and delay. I am determined to lead this country forward and take Britain out of the EU on October 31st.”
Meanwhile, Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, commented on Tuesday government’s defeat and tweeted: “Tonight we defeated Boris Johnson in his first Commons test and tomorrow (Wednesday) we will legislate against his disastrous No Deal plans.”
“We’ll support a vote to call a General Election, so the people can decide our country’s future, once the Bill to stop No Deal is law,” Corbyn added.
Johnson who lost his first-ever vote as prime minister on Tuesday is at risk to face the same challenge that former Prime minster Theresa May confronted before resigning several months ago. May failed to gain support for the Brexit deal that she reached with the EU.
The 21 rebel lawmakers, who challenged Johnson in parliament, including Philip Hammond, face expulsion from the Conservative Party.
MPs now have the right to seek to pass a law to force Johnson to ask the EU to delay the Brexit deadline which is supposed to be on 31 October, in case they will not reach a divorce deal. It could be delayed until Jan 31.
On Wednesday, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Scotland’s highest court ruled that Johnson’s suspension of the parliament for more than a month is lawful.
Last week, Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth to suspend the parliament for five weeks from 10 September to 14 October and she approved his request.
The suspension comes a few weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31October. Consequently, Johnson’s move to suspend parliament until October 14 has sparked a storm of criticism.
Critics reject the decision because they fear it means that MPs will not have enough time to discuss the Brexit. However, the government insists that there will be time to debate the Brexit.
On 23 June 2016, a public referendum was held on whether the UK should leave the EU or not. Voters agreed with 52%, while 48% said no.