Boris Johnson To Ask MPs For Snap General Election On December 12

The prime minister's cabinet has been divided over whether or not to push for an early poll.

Boris Johnson will ask MPs to allow him to hold a snap general election on December 12.

The prime minister said on Thursday he would give parliament more time to debate his Brexit deal, on the condition it voted in favour of an election before Christmas.

“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 December 12,” he told broadcasters.

The government is expected to table a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on Monday.

To force an election via that route, the PM needs to win the votes of two-thirds of MPs.

His previous two attempts to hold an election were thwarted after Jeremy Corbyn ordered Labour MPs to block it.

Make sense of politics. Sign up to the Waugh Zone and get the political day in a nutshell.

The prime minister wants to hold an election in the hope he can win a majority which will allow him to push his Brexit deal through the Commons.

Following Johnson’s announcement, Labour said it would back an election if a no-deal Brexit is “taken off the table” and if the Article 50 extension offered by the EU, expected Friday, “allows” for that.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

EU leaders are expected to grant a delay to avoid a no-deal exit on October 31, but have yet to announce how long will be given.

In a letter to Corbyn, Johnson said parliament had “refused to take decisions” after MPs derailed his attempt to push his Brexit deal through by the end of this week.

“It cannot refuse to let the voters replace it with a new parliament that can make decisions,” he said.

“Prolonging this paralysis into 2020 would have dangerous consequences for businesses, jobs and for basic confidence in democratic institutions, already badly damaged by the behaviour of parliament since the referendum. Parliament cannot continue to hold the country hostage.

“You have repeatedly said that once the EU accepts parliament’s request for a delay until 31 January, then you would immediately support an election.

He added: “I assume this remains your position and therefore you will support an election next week so the voters can replace this broken parliament.”

Johnson’s decision comes despite signs of divisions among ministers and senior No. 10 advisers over whether to press for a December poll. Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith admitted to ITV News today there were “differences” in cabinet.