Corbyn poised to fall for Johnson’s election ‘trap’
UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says the UK “needs” a general election, despite warnings that he is falling for Boris Johnson’s trap.
Corbyn said an early general election “would give the people a choice between two very different directions for the country”.
“An election is the democratic way forward,” the leftist Labour leader said.
Former prime minister Tony Blair said the country had been taken over by a “gang of adventurers” behaving in a “shocking, irresponsible and dangerous” manner.
He asked his adversary within the party, Corbyn, not to allow the new prime minister to call a general election until the Brexit crisis was resolved.
Labour’s shadow Brexit minister, Jenny Chapman, said she would welcome an early election but added that “stopping a no-deal must come first”. This could mean that Labour would insist on a Brexit delay before agreeing to back an election.
Blair, who is regarded as a war criminal by Corbyn, said an early general election was an “elephant trap” being set by Johnson to secure enough MPs to push through a no-deal Brexit, which is opposed by a majority of voters.
He said an early general election would deliver a “comfortable” majority for Johnson because the opposition would split the remain vote.
Under the 2011 Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, Labour support would be needed to trigger an early election, which requires a two-thirds majority in the lower house or a vote of no confidence by MPs, assuming another government cannot be formed within 14 days.
Blair said: “The Brexiteers are laying a trap, to seem as if pushed into an election, whilst actively preparing for one.”
He said a general election would not give a clear indication of how voters felt about Brexit.
“Boris Johnson knows that if no-deal Brexit stands on its own as a proposition, it might well fail. But if he mixes up the Brexit question with the Corbyn question in a general election, he could succeed, despite a majority being against a no-deal Brexit, because some may fear a Corbyn premiership more.”
Johnson has said a divorce from the EU must happen by October 31, with or without a deal, prompting a MPs to unite to prevent a hard Brexit.
Cross-party MPs are expected to put forward legislation tomorrow (Tuesday) to stop no-deal under the increasingly important Standing Order 24, the rule which allows MPs to call a debate on a “specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration”.
The bill would reportedly force the government to seek a three-month extension until January 31 if no withdrawal deal had been agreed by October 19, the day after the next European Union leaders’ summit.
More demonstrations can be expected around parliament. Picture credit: Eurasia Times