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Boris Johnson: Here's How We Break Brexit Impasse

The UK prime minister seeks a general election Dec. 12
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2019 12:50 PM CDT
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In this photo taken on Wednesday Oct. 16, 2019, motorists pass along the old Belfast to Dublin road close to the Irish border in Newry, Northern Ireland.   (Photo/Peter Morrison)
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(Newser) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the only way to break Britain's Brexit impasse is a general election, and he will ask Parliament to approve a national poll for Dec. 12, the AP reports. Johnson said he would ask lawmakers to vote Monday on a motion calling for an early election. Johnson has been mulling his next move since Tuesday, when lawmakers blocked his attempt to fast-track an EU divorce bill through Parliament in a matter of days. Lawmakers said they needed more time to scrutinize the legislation, making it all but impossible for Britain to leave the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31 with a deal. The British government has been awaiting the EU's decision on whether to postpone the UK's departure until Jan. 31 to prevent a chaotic no-deal exit.

Though the EU has not given its answer, Johnson said it looked like the EU would grant the extension—and with it kill off Johnson's oft-repeated promise that Britain will leave the EU at the end of this month. Britain's next scheduled election is in 2022. If Johnson wants an early election, he needs to win a vote in Parliament by a two-thirds majority, or lose a no-confidence vote, which so far opposition parties have refused to call. Johnson said the Dec. 12 election date would give lawmakers more time to scrutinize his bill, because Parliament would be in session until the formal campaign started on Nov. 6. "So, the way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done, is, I think, to be reasonable with Parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal they can have it, but they have to agree to a general election on Dec. 12," Johnson said.

(Read more Brexit stories.)

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