Boris Johnson promises to ditch his Brexit Bill to woo MPs for 4th Christmas election bid


BORIS Johnson has promised to abandon his Brexit Bill this year to woo over MPs for a fourth Christmas election bid tonight.

The PM’s latest attempt to force a festive poll was torpedoed by Jeremy Corbyn and his MPs last night, making it short of the 434 MPs needed to get it through.

Boris Johnson will later try to force through a new Bill to call for an election

Boris will this afternoon bring back a short bill to Parliament instead with the hope of attracting the SNP or Lib Dems to vote for it.

Unlike previous election votes it will only need half of MPs to back it, not two-thirds.

But it will be more of a struggle to get it through as MPs can try and change it with amendments on votes for 16 year olds, or a second referendum.

The Government and opposition MPs are now in a furious fight over which date is best for a snap poll to take place.

The PM told MPs last night: “This House cannot any longer keep this country hostage. I don’t believe this paralysis should be allowed to continue

“It’s time for voters to replace this dysfunctional Parliament with a new Parliament that can get Brexit done.”

But Boris is clinging to the December 12 polling date which opposition MPs are hell-bent against, as he’s determined to give his Brexit law one more try before Christmas.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford want an election on December 9 instead – which would mean Boris’ Brexit Bill will have to be binned for now as it would run out of time to pass.

Mr Blackford said he won’t back the new plan unless the PM guarantees that he won’t try to ram his bill through as well.

And Ms Swinson warned she may not back it at all if the PM sticks to December 12.

She said: “If Boris Johnson wants a General Election he could have supported our bill for a General Election on 9 December.

“Instead he has chosen to stick to his original plan for December 12 which we have already rejected.”

Mr Corbyn said Labour would “look at the bill tomorrow (Tuesday)” and decide whether to back it – but only if the PM promises No Deal is taken off the table.

It comes as:

  • Brussels bosses gave the green light to a “flextension” – with the option of leaving as early as November 30 if a deal is approved by MPs
  • Boris Johnson was forced to write to Donald Tusk to officially “confirm” the third delay to Brexit, which he didn’t want
  • Follow the action with our live blog

What happens now?

  • Boris has lost a motion for an early election under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – which requires two thirds of MPs to support it
  • The PM will today bring forward a new one-line bill calling for an election
  • He will try and fix the date in for December 12 – and will try and pursuade MPs to back it
  • He only needs 320 MPs to back it today, 50% of the House of Commons
  • So if the Lib Dems or the SNP back him, he’s safe and an election is on the way
  • If they choose to, they could try and force Boris to change the date to an earlier one – such as December 9, 10 or 11
  • MPs will have their chance to wreck it later on with amendments

Jo Swinson’s MPs are considering whether to back it
And the SNP could tip Boris over the line needed for an election too

Yesterday’s extension news means the PM’s “do or die” promise to leave the EU by October 31 has now been completely shattered.

Boris refused to resign for breaking his promise, or say sorry, despite saying he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than accept an extension.

It means Britain will be in the EU until January 31 now, or could leave sooner if a deal is passed before then.