Opposition parties unite to block Johnson’s renewed election bid
Boris Johnson’s second bid to secure an early election will not be backed by MPs fighting to prevent a no-deal Brexit, opposition leaders have said ahead of a Commons vote.
Labour said the cross-party group will not support the Prime Minister’s “ploy” for a general election, which critics claim could see a departure from the EU without an agreement in place.
The PM on Monday will try for a second time to get an election under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, but it is expected to fail to get the support of the required two-thirds of MPs.
The Liberal Democrats said they would against any request for an election until no-deal had been averted.
“We were absolutely rock solid on rejecting out of hand Boris Johnson’s attempt to cut and run with a general election,” Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake told the PA news agency.
“There’s absolutely no way we will let him do that before he’s secured an extension.”
Labour said all those who attended the meeting at Jeremy Corbyn’s Westminster office “agreed to work together to hold the Government to account in Parliament”.
“All leaders agreed that they would not support Boris Johnson’s ploy to deny the people their decision by crashing us out of the EU with no deal during a general election campaign,” a spokeswoman said.
Plaid Cymru confirmed its MPs will vote against the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, while its Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts called for the PM to be impeached if he refuses to ask for an extension to Article 50.
Legislation expected to become law on Monday after being passed by opposition MPs and Tory rebels will require Mr Johnson to ask Brussels for a delay to the departure date to January 31 if no exit agreement has been approved by October 19.
But their are fears Mr Johnson will not carry out the request, after saying he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for a further delay to Brexit.
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts told opposition leaders they must be ready to impeach the PM if he refused to carry out the request.
“If the Prime Minister refuses to seek an extension to the period under Article 50, he will have broken the law – plain and simple – and he must be subject to legal repercussions,” she said.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said his MPs will reject the PM’s call for an early general election until no-deal is no longer a possibility.
“Once the threat of no-deal is off the table, we will move for an early election,” he added.