After Boris Johnson's Brexit deal was narrowly accepted, and his plan to fast track the legislation was rejected by the House of Commons this week, there is a lot of speculation as to how Brexit is going to move forward. If the European Union accepts another delay until 31 January 2020, PM Johnson says he wants to seek a snap general election. Some Members of Parliament are said to be pushing the Prime Minister to try again to push his deal through Parliament.
The European Union is deciding on whether or not to offer an extension to Brexit today, and if so, for how long the extension will be. According to the bbc.com, a correspondent said that, "France is digging its heels in, while Germany and most other EU countries support idea of granting the three-month extension."
France Digging In
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, seems to be concerned that a long extension could lead to more UK indecisiveness or an inconclusive general election. If France stays opposed to a three-month extension, there may be a summit in Brussels on Monday so a face-to-face agreement can be made by EU leaders.
House of Commons
There hasn't been a motion for an early election yet, nor has there been another attempt to get the Brexit deal through Parliament scheduled for next week. Most likely, the EU will respond to the extension request before UK Parliament decides on either option.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the House of Commons leader, said the government "does not want an extension" and is "making every preparation to leave on 31 October."
If PM Johnson pushes for an early election, there is no guarantee of success. There is a Fixed-term Parliaments Act in place, and the Prime Minister would need to have the backing of two-thirds of MPs to hold a snap poll. This has already been rejected twice by MPs. Another tactic is for the Conservatives to vote for a no-confidence motion in their own government. PM Johnson can also call for this himself, which would only require a simply majority of one. Parliamentary rules state that, if it were to pass, the Commons has 14 days to form an alternative administration, so Johnson would risk being pushed out of 10 Downing Street if opposition parties can unite around a different leader.
A so called one-line bill is another option to an election. It requires only a simple majority, but any bill like it is likely to incur a host of amendments, e.g. giving 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote. Elections in the UK typically happen on a Thursday, so if an election were triggered in the week beginning 28 October, the earliest date a poll could happen is Thursday, 5 December. Law requires Parliament to allow 25 working days to pass before the election. All of this underscores the fact that Brexit is a very complicated game indeed.