Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

16.10 6 Sep 2019


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The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed he will secure a Brexit deal from Brussels by mid-October. 

It comes as a bill aiming to block a no-deal Brexit will become law on Monday, after being approved by the House of Lords there.

It was brought by a group of MPs - and is designed to force Mr Johnson to ask the European Union for another delay.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are said to have agreed to block Mr Johnson's latest bid to call a snap election.

They are unwilling to go to the country until a further Brexit extension has been agreed.

An initial motion for an election was put forward by the government this week, in the wake of MPs' decision to pass a bill to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

opposition parties File photo shows the UK House of Lords during a debate in Westminster, London | Image: House of Commons/PA Wire/PA Images

Under the UK's Fixed Term Parliament Act, any such motion requires the support of two-thirds of MPs.

Opposition parties rejected the initial motion - suggesting they want an election, but only after another Brexit delay becomes law.

Mr Johnson - who has said he would rather be 'dead in a ditch' than seek another extension - will put forward another motion for an election on Monday.

He has claimed the opposition is running scared.

"They don't trust the people, they don't want an election - OK - perhaps it is that they don't think that they will win, fine.

"I'll go to Brussels, I'll get a deal, and we'll make sure we come out on October 31st - that's what we've got to do".

"I think it's a most sensational paradox - never in history has there been an opposition party that has been given the chance to have an election and has turned it down.

"If I may say so I think that they're making an extraordinary political mistake - but it's their decision.

"If they don't want to have an election, they don't want to move this thing forward - fine.

"We will get a deal on October 17th/18th, and then we'll come out of the EU".

opposition parties General view of the Palace of Westminster, London, where MPs are taking part in an emergency debate over a new law to block a no-deal Brexit.

On Friday, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke with other opposition parties about the recent developments.

Speaking after the discussions, Welsh Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts indicated they have again agreed to block a snap election for now.

She told Sky News: "As parliamentarians, whose priority is to stop a no-deal Brexit, our job is to make sure the [no-deal Brexit] act... is put into effect - and that we remain here as parliamentarians to make sure that the prime minister does his duty by the law."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, said Mr Johnson "mustn’t be allowed to dictate the timing as a device to avoid scrutiny and force through a ‘no deal’ Brexit".

She added: "When the election does come - as it soon will - the SNP will put Scotland’s opposition to Brexit and our right to choose our own future as an independent nation at the very heart of the contest."

A Labour statement, meanwhile, 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."

Mr Johnson has previously indicated he wants an election in mid-October - ahead of the current Brexit deadline of October 31st.

However, without the support of opposition parties and a five-week long parliamentary suspension imminent, it is looking like an election will not be possible until November.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking a bull during a visit to a farm near Aberdeen in Scotland | Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

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Boris Johnson Brexit Brexit Deal Brexit Extension Jeremy Corbyn Liz Saville Opposition Parties Plaid Cymru UK Labour

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