British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he does not want a general election, and he’s urging lawmakers to vote down a bill that would prevent a “no-deal Brexit.”
His comments came during a televised speech after days of protests against his decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to the Brexit deadline.
CGTN’s Richard Bestic has details.
When he swept into Downing Street just over a month ago, Boris Johnson declared that come October 31st – the default date for Britain’s EU departure – he’d successfully deliver Brexit by any means possible. And with a like-minded Brexit cabinet around him, he’s been working to that end ever since, promising to sever all ties with the European Union with no trade agreements whatsoever.
“As we come to that Brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making in the last few weeks,” Johnson emerged from an emergency cabinet meeting to announce. “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 not always perhaps 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.”
In a desperate bid to stop him, a rainbow alliance of opposition parties has been plotting to make that illegal.
“So, first we must come together to stop No Deal,” said opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. “This could be our last chance. We’re working with other parties to do everything necessary to pull our country back from the brink. Then, we need a general election.”
Government ministers like Michael Gove have refused to deny the government might actually be prepared to break the law to achieve its Brexit goals.
Over the weekend, there were protests in cities across the country, after Johnson said he’d be shutting down Parliament ahead of the October Brexit deadline, limiting options for MP’s to stand in his way. Protestors accused him of dictatorial tactics.
As Brexit tensions continue to rise in this deeply divided country, the next few hours and days could finally bring some conclusion to the ever-deepening bitterness of Brexit.