UK Labour opposition to back early election

Members of Parliament (MPs) are debating Boris Johnson’s call for a general election on December 12, after Labour threw its weight behind a pre-Christmas poll.

Jeremy Corbyn said he had changed his mind on a snap election after the European Union (EU) gave the UK another Brexit extension

The Labour leader said this took the risk of a no-deal Brexit off the table – his main objection to the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) plan.

The prime minister can only hold an election with the support of MPs – who have blocked it three times.

He is currently making a fresh attempt to get their backing in Parliament.

MPs are debating a government bill for an early election on December 12, which requires only a simple majority of one to pass.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Johnson said it was time to “refresh this Parliament and give the people a choice” about the future of Brexit and the country.

Mr Corbyn said Labour would back any moves by MPs to give 16 and 17-year-olds and EU nationals with settled status the right to vote – a move strongly opposed by the government.

“We want the election to involve as many people as possible,” he said.

The Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats want a December 9, poll, saying it would prevent the prime minister from pushing his Brexit deal through Parliament.

No 10 sources have told the BBC they would accept December 11, to get opposition parties on-board – and they have agreed to put Brexit legislation on hold, for now.

Labour has, against the wishes of many of its MPs, shifted to supporting a December election and with that, it means we are on for the first December general election in decades.

The prime minister hopes this will give him a victory at the polls that would allow him rapidly to get his Brexit deal through Parliament and the UK out of the EU.

The Labour leader hopes for a souped-up version of his move forward at the 2017 election that would mean, contrary to the view of many of his own MPs, his project can continue and build.

The Lib Dems and SNP hope for a chance to stop Brexit happening, and expand their own political positions at a junction for the country.

But none of the parties can be remotely sure of what will happen next. -BBC

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