THE LABOUR, SNP, and Lib Dem parties agreed yesterday not to take up Tory PM Boris Johnson’s challenge and back his motion on Monday in the House of Commons, to call a general election for October 15th.
Johnson wants a general election before the EU summit in mid-October, so that if he cannot get a deal with the EU, the UK will leave the EU on October 31.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru say they will vote against or abstain on Monday.
The SNP’s Ian Blackford said they wanted to make sure the UK did not ‘crash out’ in a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson wants an election to take place on 15 October, ahead of the Brussels summit on 17 and 18 October.
He argues that this will allow the government to ‘get on’ with delivering Brexit by 31 October or leave with ‘no deal’.
Meanwhile, a bill designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit was expected to finish its progress through the House of Lords yesterday.
Following the meeting of opposition parties, a Labour Party spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn hosted a positive conference call with other opposition party leaders this morning.
‘They discussed advancing efforts to prevent a damaging no-deal Brexit and hold a general election once that is secured.’
SNP Westminster leader Blackford said he was ‘desperate for an election’, but it could not be until an extension to Article 50 – the process by which the UK is leaving the EU – had been secured.
Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru’s leader, said there was an ‘opportunity to bring down Boris’ and ‘we should take that’.
And a Lib Dem spokeswoman said the group was clear that ‘The Liberal Democrat position for a while now is that we won’t vote for a general election until we have an extension agreed with the EU. I think the others are coming round to that.
‘As a group we will all vote against or abstain on Monday.’
But Johnson said he would go to Brussels on 17 October and agree a deal so the UK can come out of the EU on 31 October.
He said: ‘All I see is Corbyn and the SNP clubbing together to try and lock us into the EU when it’s time to get this thing done.
‘It’s the most sensational paradox – never in history has the opposition party been given the chance for election and has turned it down.’
Johnson has vowed that he would sooner ‘end up in a ditch’ than be sent to Brussels to ask for an extension to Article 50.
He says that he is determined to take the UK out of the EU on October 31, ‘do or die’.