UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will try again on Monday to call early elections, as EU ambassadors discuss a new Brexit postponement three days ahead of the deadline.
Johnson was forced to drop his promise to leave the European Union on October 31, after parliament asked him for more time as they debated his recent divorce agreement with EU leaders.
Ambassadors from 27 European Union countries are meeting on Monday at 10:00 am (0900 GMT) to discuss a project to postpone Brexit three months before three days from October 31, European sources said Sunday.
Most European countries are open to Brexit’s three-month delay until January 31, 2020, a deadline that Johnson has been forced to ask, although he says he rejects it, according to European sources.
EU leaders should decide the duration of Brexit’s third postponement.
In principle, member states accept a delay to avoid the risk of an unregulated Brexit, but some, especially France, raise controversy over the duration of the delay.
Monday’s vote in the British parliament on early parliamentary elections on December 12, proposed by the prime minister last Thursday, is expected to break the impasse.
Johnson, who does not have a parliamentary majority to fulfill his promise to implement Brexit on October 31, needs a two-thirds majority of the 650 deputies to hold early elections and therefore to support some of the opposition.
The Labor Party opposes Johnson’s agreement on Brexit and insists it will not support the election option until it gives up its threat to leave the EU without any agreement at all.
Senior Labor MP Diane Abbott told the BBC on Sunday the party was “ready to hold elections” but added: “We are waiting to see what the European Union will say.”
– Election time –
More than three years after the British voted 52 to 48 percent in favor of Brexit in the 2016 referendum, the country and parliament remain deeply divided.
Johnson, who led the “departure” campaign, took office in July pledging to remove Britain from the European Union on October 31, no matter what happens.
But lawmakers rebelled against his threat to break 46 years of relations without an agreement and passed a law requiring him to seek delays if they refused to accept the terms of the deal.
At the end of last week, Johnson reluctantly sent the letter to the EU, without his signature, requesting a delay of three months.
Paris says there must be a strong justification for giving London what would be Brexit’s third postponement.
“We should not give more time on the basis of political imagination, but (on the grounds that) there will be elections or a second referendum,” French European Affairs Minister Emily de Monschaelan said on Sunday.
If London is given a new postponement, Brussels is likely to ask Britain to put forward a candidate to join the EU commissioners, a move likely to cause controversy in London.
Johnson accused lawmakers this weekend of taking Britain “hostage” by refusing to back the deal or hold elections.
If his plan fails, there may be another vote for elections, after two small opposition parties backed the idea of holding elections in December, but with some conditions.
Johnson wants lawmakers to ratify the Brexit deal he recently reached before the election, a difficult but not impossible task.
But the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats, who mainly oppose Brexit, want to abandon the deal and hold elections on December 9.
They have proposed legislation for the election, a process that requires only a simple majority of deputies and could begin as early as Tuesday, if the government agrees.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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