British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a showdown in Parliament as MPs, including members of his own party, aim to take control of the agenda to stop a no-deal Brexit, while the chance of a snap election to resolve a three-year deadlock over Brexit appears to increase. Rebel and opposition MPs aim to seize control of the parliamentary agenda and introduce a bill to prevent the United Kingdom from crashing out of the European Union on 31 October without a divorce agreement – what has widely become to be known as ‘no-deal Brexit’.
“I think there will be enough people to get this over the line,” Phillip Hammond, a former finance minister and a member of Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, told the media, adding that “I think there’s a group of Conservatives who feel very strongly that now is a time where we have to put the national interest ahead of any threats to us personally or to our careers.” The bill will force the PM to ask for Brexit to be delayed until 31 January 2020, unless legislators had approved a new deal, or voted in favor of a no-deal exit by 19 October. There is, however, a growing sense in London that if the bill passes, Johnson may call a snap election for 14 October.
Although Johnson’s government has been recently putting lots of pressure on conservative MPs, including threats they will be kicked out of the party, there are reportedly still sufficient numbers who worry that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the country and who are thus prepared to vote against their own government. However, those MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit are running out of time, as Johnson has controversially decided to suspend parliament next week for more than a month, in a move some critics have called a ‘coup’.