PM demands vote
Johnson wants general election on 12 December
Prime Minister is calling for election
UPDATED Fri 25th: Boris Johnson has given up on the 31 October deadline for leaving the EU but is fighting resistance to his demand for a general election on 12 December.
After the Queen’s Speech was approved by 310 votes to 294, the government moved for a motion on Monday to call an election.
An election on the proposed date will mean the Scottish Budget, also fixed for that date, would almost certainly be delayed. The Treasury has also confirmed that Sajid Javid’s first budget as Chancellor, planned for 6 November, has also been delayed.
The Treasury said: “Parliament has voted for a Brexit delay. We’re calling for an election so we won’t be delivering the Budget on 6 November.”
However, as a decision on a Brexit deadline delay is awaited from the EU, both the Conservative and Labour governments are divided on the way forward.
In an interview today following a Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson said that if parliament wants more time to study the Brexit deal MPs have to agree to an election.
“It is time frankly the Opposition summoned up the nerve to subject themselves to our collective boss, which is the people of the UK,” he said, saying MPs will have until 6 November to debate the Withdrawal Bill.
“In the debate on Tuesday on Brexit when everybody said they needed more time to study this deal Labour couldn’t even find enough speakers, let alone new ideas,” he said. “We have had three and a half years to discuss this.”
Mr Johnson said more time would be allocated to debate the bill though he said it is not too different to the previous agreements.
Under the fixed terms legislation, the Prime Minister now needs the consent of two-thirds of MPs to call a general election.
Opponents of an election say it will become a single issue campaign, and the first past the post system means millions of votes will not count in the same way as a referendum in which every vote counts.
With the Tories ahead in the polls, Mr Johnson therefore probably sees an election as a better route to getting public support for his Brexit deal which he may lose in a referendum.
For similar reasons, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is resisting calls for an election because the party is lagging in the polls and he is the lowest rated leader.
The EU is said to be split on whether to offer a short or a long delay oin Brexit with French President Emmanuel Macron leading the resistance to a three month extension.