UK Parliament Crisis Explained

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( — September 6, 2019) — More than 20 lawmakers from his Conservative party have backed opposition parties and supported the first step needed to pass a law that, if an agreement is not in sight, Brexit would be postponed again after October 31.
Johnson reiterated yesterday that he would in no case agree to delay the country’s exit from the EU, but would call early elections should the delay law be passed.
Although calling for an early election carries risks, Johnson hopes to win more seats for the Conservatives and then implement Brexit “short-term”.
However, according to UK law, the fact that the prime minister wants elections does not mean that they must happen.
Under the Permanent Parliaments Act 2011, the British Prime Minister can no longer call elections at his discretion.
He has to get the green light from two-thirds of the parliament, or 434 MPs.
The only thing in the prime minister’s hands is the decision on the date of the vote, which is why many MPs are worried, BBC reports.
Although Johnson suggests that the elections could be held on October 14, he could easily push them for October 31, the very day of the planned EU exit.
Assuming he receives the necessary support of the parliament, the prime minister recommends a date to the queen which she must approve.
After that, the parliament gets dissolved for 25 days and the members cease to be members of parliament and engage in a re-election campaign.
From the government’s point of view, the biggest problem is that they have to get the support of opposition Labor MPs in parliament.
Officials from that party say there is little chance that it will happen.
But it is not impossible for the government to “bypass” that demand.
This could be achieved by introducing a simple law that says elections are called “regardless of the Permanent Parliaments Act”.
Such a bill would not require the support of two-thirds of parliament, but only a majority of 51 percent.
The downside of this plan is that it takes a lot of valuable time to pass the law, because it has to pass the House of Lords in addition to the House of Commons.
There is also an option for the proposed law to be amended.
Namely, the MPs would consider the changes and this would allow Brexit opponents without agreement to influence the amendment.
There is also a third, high-risk scenario.
If the government is firmly determined to want early elections, it can call for a vote of no-confidence.
If it does, parliamentarians will have to decide if they want the current cabinet to continue to lead the country.
After a vote of no confidence in the government, Johnson would resign and the majority in parliament would have 14 days to form an alternative government.
The new prime minister would then most likely demand the postponement of Brexit.
However, if a solution is not found within two weeks, the general election is automatically suspended.
This option is the least likely because it relies entirely on the opposition’s inability to form an alternative government.