UK opposition parties reject Boris Johnson's election call

Pro Brexit placards and EU flags are pictured outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept up his push Thursday for an early general election as a way to break Britain's Brexit impasse, as lawmakers moved to stop the U.K. leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a visit to Peterhead fish market near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Duncan McGlynn/PA via AP)
A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer, left, while being walked by Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen, Scotland, Friday Sept. 6, 2019, to coincide with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

LONDON — Britain's opposition parties said Friday that they won't support Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for an election when the issue gets voted on next week, piling more pressure on Britain's embattled leader.

The parties have been mulling whether to agree to Johnson's plan for a mid-October election, which can only be triggered if two-thirds of lawmakers agree.

Johnson already lost a vote on the same question this week, but plans to try again Monday, saying an election is the only way to break the country's deadlock over Brexit.

Opponents don't want to endorse the election unless they can ensure Johnson can't take Britain out of the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31 without a divorce agreement in place, as he has threatened to do so.

After discussions Friday, opposition lawmakers said they would not back an election until the government asked the EU to delay Brexit. Johnson said Thursday he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than do that.

The parties said they would either vote against Johnson's motion or abstain on Monday.

Parliament is in the midst of passing an opposition-backed law that would compel the Conservative government to seek a Brexit postponement if no deal is agreed by late October. The bill is likely to become law by Monday, and many pro-EU lawmakers want to hold off on triggering an election until it is set in stone, fearing Johnson will try to wriggle out of the commitment.

"I do not trust the prime minister to do his duty," said Liz Saville Roberts, leader of the Welsh party Plaid Cymru.

She said lawmakers needed to be sitting in Parliament in late October, rather than on the campaign trail, to ensure Britain does not crash out of the EU.

"In the short time we need to make sure that we get past the 31st of October," she said.

Johnson became prime minister in July after promising Conservatives that he would complete Brexit and break the impasse that has paralyzed Britain's politics since voters decided in June 2016 to leave the bloc and which brought down his predecessor, Theresa May.

After only six weeks in office, however, his plans to lead the U.K. out of the EU are in crisis. The EU refuses to renegotiate the deal it struck with May, which has been rejected three times by Britain's Parliament.

Johnson's push to leave the EU by Halloween even if there is no divorce deal to smooth the way, is facing stiff opposition, both in Parliament and in the courts. Most economists say a no-deal Brexit would cause severe economic disruption and plunge the U.K. into recession.

On Friday, Britain's High Court rejected a claim that Johnson is acting unlawfully in suspending Parliament for several weeks ahead of the country's scheduled departure from the EU.

Johnson enraged his opponents by announcing he would send lawmakers home at some point next week until Oct. 14, just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU. Critics accused him of subverting democracy and carrying out a "coup."

Transparency campaigner Gina Miller took the government to court, arguing the suspension was an "unlawful abuse of power."

A panel of three High Court judges ruled against her, but said the case can be appealed to the Supreme Court, which has set a hearing for Sept. 17.

Outside court, Miller said she was disappointed with the ruling but "pleased that the judges have given us permission to appeal to the Supreme Court."

"To give up now would be a dereliction of our responsibility," she said. "We need to protect our institutions. It is not right that they should be shut down or bullied, especially at this momentous time in our history."

___

Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

You may also interested in

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

Asian markets lower after Wall Street decline

Sep 15, 2016

Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday following Wall Street's decline in light trading...

China begins to ease its 2,000-year-old monopoly...

Jan 3, 2017

China has started an overhaul of its salt industry, easing a monopoly that has existed in some form...

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up...

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

Chinese delegation open to meeting Trump's team...

Jan 11, 2017

A Chinese official says President Xi Jinping's delegation to the World Economic Forum is open to...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!