The Guardian

Brexit: Government could back Lib Dem/SNP plan for early election, cabinet minister suggests – live news

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Commons to debate motion for a 12 December election, as leaked document shows EU likely to agree to three-month extensionFull story: EU prepares to grant three-month extension 8.39am GMT Good morning. I’m Andrew Sparrow, taking over from Damien Gayle, and back from a particularly ill-timed half-term holiday. I’ve missed some intense parliamentary drama although, as is usual with Brexit, deadlock and uncertainty still prevail.Or perhaps not. Today Boris Johnson is staging a third vote on an early election – which, again, he is expected to win, but not by the two-thirds majority required under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act for the early election to actually happen.Gavin Williamson does not repeat yesterday’s line that Lib Dem/ SNP election plan is a “stunt” when questioned by @KayBurley.

He says: “We’ve made it clear there’s an ability to put different options” but that doing it via legislation (not FTPA) is “always complex”.Will the govt take a look at the Lib Dem/SNP election idea if their plan fails tonight? @gavinwilliamson tells @mrdanwalker @bbcbreakfast: “the government will always look at every single option.” 7.57am GMT The Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, who together with the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, has put forward a tightly drafted bill that would grant an election on 9 December, have said their plan is “still alive”. Swinson and Blackford have put forward a bill that would grant an election on 9 December – three days earlier than the PM’s suggested polling date – as long as the European Union grants an extension until 31 January.It certainly it seems to me a sensible way forward. We also understand from our contacts in the EU that putting forward this bill and sending the letter that we did has helped out EU friends have confidence that if they offer the extension that they’re discussing today that that will be time well spent.One of their big concerns was that they offered an extension earlier this year, said ‘don’t waste time’, and then we had a Conservative leadership election and Boris Johnson mucked about not trying to get a deal, shutting down parliament, and you know, the very master class in time-wasting so, understandably, they had a degree of reluctance, I think evidenced by the fact they didn’t grant the extension on Friday when many thought they would. Continue reading…

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Author : Andrew Sparrow (now); Damien Gayle and Kate Lyons (earlier)

Publish date : 2019-10-28 08:54:02

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