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British PM Johnson to Call for Elections after Brexit Failure

Boris Johnson, July 2018 (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call for a general election on December 12 after his latest push to exit the European Union was stymied by Parliament, he said in a BBC interview on Thursday.

Johnson tried on Tuesday to pass legislation that would have ensured a departure from the E.U. by October 31 but was prevented by pro-remain factions in parliament. He had managed last week to work out an agreement on the terms of Brexit with E.U. leaders.

Johnson was forced, as a result of the Tuesday vote, to ask E.U. leaders to delay the departure deadline until January 31, 2020. However, in the Thursday interview the Prime Minister indicated he will call a general election before that date.

“If Parliament genuinely wants more time to study this excellent deal, they can have it — but they have to agree to a general election on Dec. 12,” Johnson said.

Under a 2011 law, Johnson must obtain the support of two-thirds of Parliament in order to call elections, meaning he would need the agreement of the opposition Labour Party.

“I have written to [Labour head] Jeremy Corbyn: this Parliament must get Brexit done now or a NEW Parliament must get Brexit done so the country can move on,” Johnson posted on Twitter, including an attachment of his letter to Corbyn.

Johnson has previously stated he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit.

No comment was immediately available from Corbyn or the Labour party, although Labour had posted on its Twitter account urging citizens to register to vote.

“There could be a General Election around the corner and your voice needs to be heard,” the post read. “Make sure you have a say in your future and register to vote today.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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