Boris Johnson pushes for general election in December amid Brexit talks

Boris Johnson pushes for general election in December amid Brexit talks
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday he would give members of Parliament (MPs) more time to debate his Brexit deal in exchange for a general election on Dec. 12.

In a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Johnson offered his plan to give Parliament extended time to consider his Brexit deal if members agree to hold a vote next week on that election.

Johnson had vowed when he took over as prime minister in July to reach a deal to leave the European Union by the end of October, but Parliament rejected a three-day fast track of his plan earlier this week, quashing Johnson’s chance at meeting the goal. 

"I'm afraid it looks as though our EU friends are going to respond to Parliament's request by having an extension, which I really don't want at all,” Johnson said in an interview with BBC.

“So, the way to get this done, the way to get Brexit done, is, I think, to be reasonable with Parliament and say if they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal, they can have it but they have to agree to a general election on 12 December,” he continued. 

In his letter, Johnson said his "preference" would be for the EU to offer a shorter extension, "say to 15 or 30 November."

But, if the EU offers the delay that "Parliament requested" until Jan. 31, "then it is clear that there must be an election," Johnson writes.  

Johnson writes that if Corbyn commits to voting on the election, "we will make available all possible time" between now and Nov. 6 to discuss and vote on a deal. 

If a deal is still not ratified by then, the Dec. 12 election will "allow a new Parliament and Government to be in place by Christmas." 

"It is time for MPs finally to take responsibility. More people voted Leave in 2016 than have ever voted for anything. Parliament promised to respect the referendum result. But Parliament has repeatedly avoided doing this," Johnson wrote. 

British lawmakers said they needed more time to look over the deal when they voted down the fast-track agreement earlier this week. 

When asked what he would do if the Labour Party refused to vote for an election, Johnson told the BBC "we would campaign day after day for the people of this country to be released from subjection to a Parliament that has outlived its usefulness."