British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government will call a vote in parliament today on holding a December 12 general election. It will require a two-thirds vote to pass.
It is clear that Britain will not leave the EU on Thursday, the deadline by which a deal needs to be struck. The EU will grant an extension, but Brussels will be waiting on the results of today’s election before naming a concrete date.
Though most parties in parliament support an election, many in the opposition, particularly the Labour Party, are wary that it could be used to crash the UK out of the EU. Labour is seeking assurances that a no-deal Brexit will be taken off the table before it agrees to an election.
In an attempt to force the Johnson government to delay its final decision on a Brexit deal, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party will propose a December 9 election and a January 31 Brexit, giving scant time to discuss Johnson’s divorce deal. The government’s motion is likely to fail today. Whether or not Labour supports the alternative election, which only requires a simple majority, will depend on the length of the extension granted by the EU this week.
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Max is Foreign Brief's Chief Executive Officer. A Latin America specialist, Max is an expert in regional political and economic trends, focusing particularly on the Southern Cone.