LONDON, Oct 25 — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today told opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to “man up” and accept a snap December 12 election to help settle the Brexit crisis.
Johnson’s comments came with the Labour main opposition still fighting over how — or if — to take Britain out of the European Union more than three years after a referendum.
Labour leader Corbyn said in response to Johnson’s initial challenge yesterday that he would wait to see the length of the Brexit deadline extension granted by the European Union.
Britain is due to leave the bloc on October 31 and all sides would like to avoid a messy “no-deal” exit.
EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels agreed today to grant an extension but delayed until next week taking a decision on how long it should be.
The UK government needs a two-thirds majority in a vote in parliament scheduled for Monday on whether to hold an early election.
“Time for Corbyn (to) man up. Let’s have an election on December 12,” Johnson told television stations.
“What I’m saying to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party is that they have the opportunity now to get this thing done.”
He said they could have more time to debate Brexit “if they really want, if it’s really necessary — provided they agree to an election on December 12.”
Johnson said yesterday that he was ready to resume debates on his EU divorce deal should parliament take up his offer.
He effectively pulled the plan after lawmakers refused Tuesday to rush it through in time for him to meet his “do-or-die” pledge to deliver Brexit on time.
British media said Johnson’s government intended to block non-essential legislation from passing parliament if it refused to rise to his challenge and support the snap poll.
Johnson’s Conservatives are leading most opinion polls and want an early election to shake up parliament and give his minority government the seats needed to get its Brexit deal passed. — AFP