UK general election in October increasingly likely as prime minister suspends parliament
The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that he is suspending the UK parliament from September 9 to October 14, 2019, claiming the need for his new government to prepare legislation for his policy agenda ahead of the new parliamentary session. This extraordinary long-suspension of parliament – the longest since 1945 – has been met with staunch criticism by many parliamentarians, including from within Johnson’s own Party, who argue that it is a deliberate tactic to prevent parliamentarians from trying to push through legislation to avoid the UK exiting Europe without a deal. The move has fueled protests across the country, with some calling it a constitutional crisis;
A cross-party group of Parliamentarians, including the former conservative party Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, are tabling a bill in Parliament to extend Article 50 and delay the UK exiting the EU until January 2020, in order to avoid a no-deal exit. If the bill is successfully passed in Parliament, the government is expected to table a motion for a general election to take place on October 14, 2019. The government will require a two-thirds majority in the Houses of Parliament to pass a general election motion – and this will require support from the Labour Party. The Labour Party’s position is unclear, but it appears that it will only support a general election on the condition that Article 50 is extended to avoid the UK exiting the EU without a deal during a campaign election.
The former Conservative Prime Minister, John Major, is also seeking the high court’s permission to join a legal fight to prevent the government from suspending parliament before the Brexit deadline.