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No deal during election ‘anti-democratic’ – Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has urged the UK’s most senior civil servant to intervene to prevent a no-deal Brexit happening during a general election campaign.

The Labour leader is concerned that the UK could leave the European Union (EU) on October 31, while a campaign is ongoing and before a new government is elected.

He has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill saying such a move would be an “anti-democratic abuse of power”.

It comes amid speculation MPs will table a no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister (PM).

It is thought opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) could propose the vote in a bid to prevent the UK leaving the EU with no deal – leading to a general election being called.

Mr Johnson has a working majority in Parliament of just one.

The UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal unless Article 50 is extended or revoked.

Mr Corbyn said his party would propose a no-confidence vote at an “appropriate” time after the Commons returned from its summer recess on September 3.

Election rules say Parliament should be dissolved 25 working days before polling day – so some people are concerned Mr Johnson could allow a no-deal Brexit to happen while MPs are not sitting.

Speaking on Friday, Chancellor Sajid Javid told the BBC: “I’m not speculating on votes of no confidence.”

He added that the next general election should take place in 2022 – when it is currently scheduled to take place under UK law.

If the PM loses the motion of no-confidence, then under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, he would have another 14 days to win a vote of confidence.

If he failed to win such a vote, then a general election would be called on a date advised on by the PM.

However, if another candidate could secure the confidence of the Commons, Mr Johnson would be expected to resign and recommend the Queen appoint that person in his place.

This could in theory lead to a temporary cross-party government, whose main aim could be to request an extension from the EU and organise an election in the meantime.

Lib Dem business spokesman Chuka Umunna said his party was willing to discuss with other parties how a no-deal Brexit might be avoided. –BBC

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