MPs will vote on Monday whether to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s early general election on 12 December.
Mr Johnson is seeking to restore the Conservative Party’s majority in the House of Commons to try and said he will give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal if they agree to the election, but only until Parliament dissolves on 6 November.
If MPs also passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, Brexit could still occur before an election, but would be after next Thursday’s deadline that Mr Johnson said he would meet ‘do or die’.
EU leaders agreed today to delay the UK’s exit from the EU after Chancellor Sajid Javid admitted the October 31 deadline to deliver Brexit ‘can’t be met’.
The PM needs the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons to call an early general election under the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act.
He called for an early election twice in September but was rejected by MPs both times.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would support an early election but only once the risk of a no-deal Brexit is ‘off the table’.
He said the PM needed to come to Parliament on Monday and rule out a no-deal to protect jobs, the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said Labour needed to know more about the type of extension offered by the EU.
The Lib Dems have said they would vote for an election if there was a long enough extension and were also awaiting the decision of the EU.
In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Johnson said his ‘preferred option’ was a short Brexit delay to ‘say to 15 or 30 November’.
Most EU states are understood to favour a three-month delay, making the new Brexit deadline January 31 2020.
However, Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that debate surrounding the PM’s ultimatum has put plans on hold and discussions today had concluded with ‘no decision’.
It is expected the EU27 will not come to a decision on the length of the extension until early next week after Monday’s vote.
Feature image credit: Arno Mikkor on flikr.