Topline: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that rebel Conservative MPs risk undermining Brexit negotiations as he urged them to vote against opposition parties' plan to delay, or block a no deal exit from the European Union.
- Johnson urged MPs to vote against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his “pointless delay” as he doubled down on his oft-repeated promise to leave the trading bloc by October 31 "come what may.”
- He added that the chances of a deal are “rising” because the EU can see that Britain wants a deal, adding that the bloc may be discouraged by rebel MPs' actions, accusing them of making further negotiations “absolutely impossible.”
- Despite mounting rumours of an election, Johnson urged MPs to let negotiators “get on,” expressing that he did not want to go to the polls.
- Johnson held an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon amid rumors the prime minister would call for a snap election. Johnson speaking outside 10 Downing Street said: "I don't want an election, you don't want an election."
- It follows reports that Johnson is gearing up to expel or block opposition Tory MPs from standing for election in the next election, if they support the opposition attempts to pass a law to block the U.K. from leaving the EU without a trade deal.
- Opposition MPs are reportedly proposing a three-month Brexit delay if Johnson does not strike a deal at the European Council, a summit of EU leaders, on October 19.
Key background: Johnson's speech came on the eve of British lawmakers returning to Parliament following the summer recess primed with plans to support or thwart Brexit. Johnson’s move to suspend—or prorogue—Parliament last week under the guise of a procedure known as the Queen’s speech, where a government sets out its agenda for the year, means that oppositions MPs have just a week to draft a bill and secure the votes needed to make it law.
As it stands, the U.K. is due to leave the European Union on October 31 with or without a deal.
Tangent: Protesters could be heard chanting “stop the coup” outside Downing Street as Johnson delivered his speech. Thousands turned out across cities in the U.K. over the weekend to rally against the suspension of Parliament which was branded unconstitutional and undemocratic by Johnson's opponents.
Surprising fact: If an election is called this year, it would be the third in five years in the U.K., following votes in 2015 and 2017.