BORIS Johnson is planning a snap general election on October 14 if MPs block a No Deal Brexit this week, it was revealed today.
As The Sun revealed earlier today, the PM now believes he needs a fresh mandate from voters to prise a new deal from EU leaders if he loses to Tory rebels in the next few days in the Commons.
In a clear threat to rebel MPs, the PM tonight warned he would never go to Brussels and ask for Jeremy Corbyn's "pointless" extension.
This would leave him with no option but to go for a general election if enough Tory MPs side with the rebel plan this week.
He said such a move would "chop the legs" away from him as he tried to negotiate a new deal with the EU.
In a bid to show voters it would not be his fault if an election is called, Mr Johnson said: "I don't want an election, you don't want an election. Let's get on with the people's agenda."
But a senior Government official confirmed this evening that if he loses, he will table a motion under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act on Wednesday.
The plans were discussed in an evening Cabinet last night where Boris said he thought Britain was being "held back" as Brussels thinks MPs will cancel Brexit.
"The UK's negotiating position cannot be undermined," the source added.
This will fire the starting gun towards a general election immediately, and the planned date would be Monday 14 October.
And he is confident that he can win the vote, too, sending the country back to the polls for fourth time in just five years.
"There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay," he told the nation in an address on the steps of Downing Street this evening.
"We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.
"We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises.
"I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October.
"Let's get Brexit done."
As Boris dramatically upped the stakes in his bold Brexit plan today:
- Remainer MPs will try and bind his hands tomorrow with a 'pointless' plan to stop a No Deal Brexit with a new law in Parliament – which would force him to seek another extension to Brexit until January 2020 if he doesn't get a deal
- Jeremy Corbyn said he would vote for an election, and would meet with cross party MPs to discuss next steps tomorrow
- But others said they might note vote for an election unless they know No Deal Brexit is off the table – or would be promised that the PM wouldn't move the date until after October 31
- Government officials confirmed that Tories who voted to stop a No Deal Brexit – or who abstained – would lose the Tory whip and be unable to stand in an election
We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.
The decision to threaten MPs with an election is a significant change of thinking in No10 as it would see a nationwide poll take place before Brexit is due on October 31.
Up until now Boris and his aides have been adamant that any election could only come after October 31 to stop Corbyn reversing the Brexit referendum.
But any poll would be very high risk for the Tory leader, as long as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party still threatens to take millions of votes from him.
Mr Farage told The Sun this afternoon: "The only way to ensure a clean break Brexit is to hold an election – drop the deal Boris."
He said he'd urge the PM to do a deal with the Brexit Party – but only if he drops the "worst deal in history" and goes for a No Deal instead.
Some MPs welcomed the news that Boris was planning an early poll.
Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynaki said: "We need a General Election to finally prevent Remainer irreconcilables from undermining PM’s negotiations with EU. Enough is enough."
But anti-No Deal MP Nick Boles added: "We’ve been discussing the possibility for some time.
"Opposition MPs are very clear that they will not back an early election until AFTER the extension has been secured and implemented."
Top Liberal Democrats were hauled into their HQ this afternoon to discuss a possible snap vote.
BORIS DOES WANT A DEAL
Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, every PM now needs two thirds of all MPs – 434 – to agree to go to the country before any election can be held.
If he pushed a dissolution vote in the Commons on Wednesday and enough MPs backed him – he could have a general election as early as Thursday, October 10.
Remainer MPs think he's got no hope of securing a new deal, but going to the polls before October 31 shows he's serious about forcing Brussels to budge.
He was due to address MPs at No10 at a drinks reception this evening, after his speech in Downing Street.
Theresa May was also spotted arriving to hear her successor's pitch to his backbenchers – where she met many of the MPs who helped to boot her out.
ELECTION ON THE CARDS
Earlier today Paddy Power were forced to suspend betting on a general election after a flurry of bets were placed.
The view from Number 10 is that the expected vote this week is "an expression of confidence in (the) Government's negotiating position to secure a deal and will be treated as such".
Boris has always said he doesn't want an election, and that the people have had enough of them.
Since entering Number 10, he's vowed to take Britain out of the EU by October 31, no matter what it takes.
Tonight rebel MPs published their plans to force a THIRD Brexit extension.
It will make sure that the UK doesn't leave the EU on the 31 October without an agreement – unless Parliament explicitly votes for it.
The Bill will force Government to give extra time to reach a new deal with the EU at the Council next month, or to seek the consent of MPs without a deal.
Parliament is highly unlikely to ever vote to come out without an agreement.
The rebels want to get a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020.
It will take control of the order paper from Wednesday, and push forward the new law in just days – expecting to be finished by Thursday.
It's been signed by both Tory and Labour MPs – including Philip Hammond, David Gauke, and Hilary Benn.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said this evening:"This Bill will stop Boris Johnson forcing through a reckless and damaging No Deal Brexit on 31st October.
"This week could be Parliament’s last chance to stop a No Deal Brexit. MPs must act in the national interest and support this Bill."
Conservative voters back Boris' threat to boot out Tory No Deal rebels
TORY voters have backed Boris Johnson's threats to boot out No Deal rebels, a fresh poll has revealed.
New research form YouGov this evening showed that nearly two thirds of Conservative voters think they shouldn't be able to stand as Tory candidates in an upcoming election.
62 per cent of people who voted Leave agree with them, but Remainers say they should be able to.
Boris has vowed to withdraw the whip from MPs who rebel against him and vote in favour of a law to stop a No Deal Brexit this week.
Last night Boris threatened to boot Tory MPs out of the party if they vote for a new law to stop No Deal this week – but they are set to ignore him and do it anyway.
However, a Cabinet split opened up this evening as Work and Pensions boss Amber Rudd spoke out against it.
She told The Spectator: "I have made my views clear to the PM that we should not be a party that is trying to remove from our party two former chancellors, a number of ex-cabinet ministers."
Jeremy Corbyn said today the UK "needs" a general election – despite warnings from Tony Blair that it would be an "elephant trap" for Labour.
The ex-PM warned that Boris Johnson would win such a vote if it were called.
But Mr Corbyn said earlier during a speech in Salford: "An election is the democratic way forward."
A vote would "give the people a choice between two very different directions for the country", he added.
LEO MCKINSTRY Well done for having the guts to play such a high-stakes game, Boris
BORIS Johnson certainly cannot be criticised for lack of boldness.
Just as he has done throughout his brief but exhilarating premiership, he has set the political agenda again today.
In the face of a potential Tory revolt by anti-Brexit rebels, he has decided that if he loses this week’s crucial Parliamentary votes on the Remainer plan for yet another delay in our departure, then he could, with reluctance, call a General Election.
Click here to read more.
But Labour whips have been inundated today with calls from colleagues saying they don't want an election – and could vote against it – for fears they will lose.
And others are saying they won't back an election unless a No Deal Brexit is blocked first.
Labour are trailing 11 points behind the Tories in the polls at the moment.
Latest polls in the Mail on Sunday revealed at the weekend that Boris could end up with a 28-seat majority if he goes back to the country.
But if Boris loses then he could become the shortest serving PM ever.
Currently George Canning is the shortest serving PM with just 119 days in the job – if Boris loses a vote on October 10 he would have lasted just 17 days.
Get Brexit done: Boris' full speech tonight
Five weeks ago I spoke to you from these steps and said that this Government was not going to hang around and that we would not wait until brexit day – October 31 – to deliver on the priorities of the British people.
And so I am proud to say that on Wednesday Chancellor Sajid Javid is going to set out the most ambitious spending round for more than a decade.
I said I wanted to make your streets safer – and that is why we are recruiting another 20,000 police officers.
I said I wanted to improve your hospital and reduce the waiting times at your GP.
And so we are doing 20 new hospital upgrades in addition to the extra £34 billion going into the NHS.
And I said I wanted every child in this country to have a superb education and that’s why I announced last week that we are levelling up funding across the country and spending much more next year in both primary and secondary schools.
And it is to push forward this agenda on these and many other fronts that we need a Queen’s speech in October.
While leaving due time to debate brexit and other matters.
And as we come to that brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making.
In the last few weeks the chances of a deal have been rising, I believe, for three reasons.
They can see that we want a deal.
They can see that we have a clear vision for our future relationship with the EU – something that has perhaps not always been the case.
And they can see that we are utterly determined to strengthen our position by getting ready to come out regardless, come what may
But if there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum
Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay
I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t
But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible
And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.
I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.
We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum
Armed and fortified with that conviction I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October
A deal that parliament will certainly be able to scrutinise
And in the meantime let our negotiators get on with their work
Without that sword of Damocles over their necks
And without an election, which I don’t want and you don’t want
Let us get on with the people’s agenda – fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, and unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom
With infrastructure education and technology
It is a massive agenda. Let’s come together and get it done – and let’s get Brexit done by October 31.
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