MPs are currently debating the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and at the conclusion of the debate lawmakers will then be asked to give general approval to it and support the Government’s three-day timetable scrutinising the legislation. Opposition MPs look set to vote this down, arguing it won’t allow enough time for proper scrutiny. If this happens, Laura Kuenssberg has revealed Boris Johnson will pull the entire Bill and push to hold a general election in the coming months.
Mr Johnson has confirmed Ms Kuenssberg’s claims to the House of Commons and said he will move for an election if MPs thwart the Governemnt’s plans.
He said: “I will in no way allow months more of this. If Parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen and decides to delay everything to January it is with great regret the Bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a general election.”
If MPs do not back the Brexit deal this evening, hopes of leaving the European Union on October 31 will be dashed – as the Prime Minister has already requested an extension from the EU.
This will prompt Mr Johnson to call a general election before the end of the year.
She wrote on Twitter: “It seems if MP s won’t agree Government timetable for Brexit legislation tonight, they will pull it, and if EU then offers a delay, they would push straight for an election instead.”
The political editor added: “No 10 source says, ‘if Parliament votes again for delay by voting down the programme motion, and the EU offers delay until 31 Jan — then we will pull the Bill, there will be no further business for Parliament and we’ll move to an election before Christmas’.”
She explained that by doing this, the Government have chosen to “essentially go on strike if the Brexit legislation doesn’t progress tonight.”
Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe has praised the suggestion of an early general election.
He wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely the right time for an election.
“This Parliament is hypocritical, self-serving and a disgrace.
“These MPs will face the full fury of the 17.4 million and anyone seen to have blocked a proper Brexit will do well to cling on to their seats.”
Mr Johnson told the Commons the process over “healing” after Brexit can begin if they pass the bill.
He said: “If we pass this Bill tonight we will have the opportunity to address the priorities not just of our relations with the EU, but the people’s priorities at home.
“If we do this deal, if we pass this deal and the legislation that enables it, we can turn the page and allow this country and this Parliament to begin to heal and unite.”
He also said another extension would be pointless and berated MPs who wanted to add amendmenter altering the Brexit deal.
He asked: “Is there anyone who seriously thinks the EU would reopen the Withdrawal Agreement again?”
Mr Johnson said that the debate should not be about amendments, but about ratification.
He said “the deal is here on the table” and implored the House to “get it done tonight”.