No election until no-deal is ruled out, MPS tell Johnson
●Labour and SNP will back snap poll but only after rebel bill becomes law
Boris Johnson’s call for an immediate general election was rejected last night by MPS fighting against a nodeal Brexit, setting up a race against time to get legislation protecting the UK’S place in the EU through parliament by the start of next week.
Labour and the S NP said they would only allow a general election to take place after legislation forcing an extension to the UK’S 31 October Brexit date, which was passed by MPS by 327 votes to 299, receives royal assent.
After the third major defeat of his premiership, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country had to go to the polls to decide “choose who goes to Brussels”.
Mr Johnson told the Commons that parliament had “voted to stop, to scupper any serious negotiations” to secure a new Brexit deal.
“I think it’s very sad that MP’S have voted like this, I do, I think It’s a great dereliction of their duty,” he said.
“But if I’m still Prime Minister after Tuesday October 15, then we will leave on October 31 with, I hope, a much better deal.”
The bill now moves to the House of Lords, where peers began debating yesterday afternoon and are expected to continue around the clock through
until at least tomorrow, following an attempt by Conservatives to filibuster a timetable motion by attaching over 90 amendments.
It must clear the Lords without any new amendments by Monday in order to become law before a suspension of parliament ordered by Mr Johnson takes effect.
Mr Johnson faced an angry backlash from his own party after 21 senior MPS including the Father of the House of Commons, Ken Clarke, were stripped of the Conservative Whip for backing efforts to stop no-deal by voting to seize control of the parliamentary timetable.
The Prime Minister was challenged over the in fluence wielded by his top adviser Dominic Cummings at a meeting of the back bench 1922 Committee, and faced demands from a group of nearly 100 MPS to reinstate their purged colleagues.
Yesterday MPs and campaigners pursuing a legal challenge to the government’s planned suspension of parliament vowed to fight on after their case was rejected by a judge in Edinburgh. An appeal will be heard by the Inner House of the Court of Session this morning.
There was a row over tactics within Labour over how to approach a snap election, with a meeting of MPS yesterday morning being told the party would hold out until mid-october before voting to go to the polls.
But despite warnings from members of his own front bench, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would back Mr Johnson’s demand for an election as soon as the bill receives royal assent.
Senior figures including shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, joined by Lib - eral Democrat leader Jo Swinson, voiced fears that calling an election before an extension to the Article 50 period is implemented left the door open to a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.
A motion put forward by the government calling an election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act was defeated last night after it failed to secure the necessary two-thirds support from the Commons.
With the backing of both Labour and the SNP, a general election still could be called early next week, before the prorogation of parliament.
Mr Johnson urged the opposition to “consider their position over the coming days”, indicating that the government will make another attempt to force an election.
Addressing the Commons after the bill put forward by Labour MP Hilary Benn passed, Mr Corbyn said his party“look forward to turfing this government out”. “He has committed to renegotiate Brexit – but where is it? Where is the plan? Where are the proposals ?” the Labour leader said.
“If he has a Brexit plan – be it No Deal or this new mystery proposed deal we are yet to see any detail of – then he should put it before the people in a public vote, a referendum or a general election and seek a mandate from them.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that opposition parties must “seek to force [an] election”, and the SNP’S Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the S NP was“ready to bring down the Tory government and give Scotland the chance to stop Brexit and to decide its own future”.
“Opposition parties must work with us to make sure we do not allow a government that has lost its majority, that does not command this House, and that has treated this Parliament and this country with contempt, to remain in office for one day more than is necessary,” Mr Blackford.
“The Prime Minister is going to shut this Parliament down so he can spend four weeks running the clock down. We could instead use that time to run him out of office.”
Ian Murray, the Labour MP for Edinburgh South, warned that parliament“simply cannot trust Boris Johnson to abide by the legislation until it has been implemented” and called on MPS to let the Prime Minister “stew in his juices”.
“We need to wait just a matter of weeks to categorically rule out the possibility of a calamitous no-deal Brexit and then a general election should be called in which Labour will campaign to give people a final say on Brexit,” Mr Murray said.
“The SNP risk falling right into Boris Johnson’ strap if they back an election before October 31, and they risk a nodeal Brexit that would be disastrous for Scotland and the UK.
“We must let Boris Johnson stew in his juices to expose his constant lies.”
Ms Swinson said MPS“cannot let Boris Johnson use an election to tip the country into a dangerous no deal Brexit”.
Earlier, at his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson claimed that if Labour get into power, Mr Corbyn would “beg for an extension” from the EU and “accept whatever Brussels demands”.
The Prime Minister added: “By contrast, everyone will know that if I am Prime Minister, I will go to Brussels, I will go for a deal and get a deal but if they won’t do a deal we will leave anyway on 31 October.”
“He has committed to renegotiate Brexit – but where is it? Where is the plan? Where are the proposals?”
0 Brexit protesters gathered outside Westminster yesterday before MPS voted to approve a bill forcing an extension to the UK’S 31 October Brexit date