UK PM to push again for election after EU backs Brexit delay

London, Oct 29 (AFP/APP): The British Prime Minister is expected to make a fresh attempt Tuesday to force an early election, despite MPs rejecting his plan, after the European Union agreed to postpone Brexit for up to three months.

MPs defeated a third attempt on Monday by Boris Johnson to call a snap poll, with the Conservative leader immediately announcing an alternative plan that could yet see an election in early December.

Johnson suffered a major setback earlier Monday when he was forced to agree to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond this week’s October 31 deadline.

He had previously said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than extend the tortuous Brexit process started by the 2016 EU referendum.

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But he was required by law to ask EU leaders for what is the third postponement, after MPs refused to endorse the divorce terms he struck with Brussels earlier this month.

Johnson, who does not have a majority in parliament, sought to regain the initiative by calling an election for December 12, with a plan to persuade MPs to back his agreement before then.

His initial proposal was defeated late Monday in the 650-seat House of Commons, as he failed to muster the required two-thirds of support needed.

But he immediately put forward a follow-up plan to legislate for a poll on December 12 — which would require only a simple majority to pass.

“This house cannot any longer keep this country hostage,” Johnson told MPs.

He added: “We have a great new (Brexit) deal, and it’s time for voters to have a chance to pronounce on that deal and to replace this dysfunctional parliament with a new parliament that can get Brexit done.”

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