UK govt schedules new vote for Monday on snap election

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Ben Stansall, AFP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Ben Stansall, AFP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government said on Thursday it would make a second attempt next week to call an early general election, to try to break the political deadlock over Brexit.

The day after MPs rejected the first attempt to call a snap poll, senior minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs he would put forward a "motion relating to an early parliamentary election" to be voted on Monday evening.

Rees-Mogg refused to answer questions on the exact nature of this motion, which will only be known when it is published later on Thurday.

The nature of the motion may affect whether it is successful or not.

On Wednesday evening, the government failed in its bid to call an election despite winning a vote in the House of Commons, because it was made under a 2011 law that requires the support of two-thirds of MPs.

There is speculation that ministers could try to force an election via an alternative route, for example by introducing a short piece of legislation that would only require a simple majority of MPs to pass.

Johnson called the election after MPs approved a bill that could undermine his threat to leave the European Union on October 31 without agreeing exit terms.

The main opposition Labour party abstained in Wednesday's vote, saying it would not support an election until the bill blocking a "no deal" Brexit was approved.

The bill is currently being debated in the unelected upper House of Lords but is expected to become law by Monday.

Government sources say they hope Labour would at that point back an election.

However, Labour is divided over the timing of any poll.

Johnson wants a public vote before an EU summit on October 17, which could be the last chance to get a Brexit deal before Britain's scheduled departure on October 31.

But some in Labour want an election after October 31, which would mean Johnson would have been forced to delay Brexit.

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