LONDON — Britain is on course for a December election after a bill to trigger a public poll was rushed through the House of Commons.
MPs took eight hours to pass all parliamentary stages of the one-line bill, meaning an election is all but certain to take place on December 12. They voted 438 to 20 at the final “third reading” stage.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted an election was needed to break the Brexit deadlock in Westminster, after MPs backed the deal he agreed with Brussels but demanded more time to debate it.
The bill will now head to the House of Lords where it is expected to pass through all its stages tomorrow, before parliament is dissolved on November 6.
Johnson told the Commons on Tuesday afternoon: “There is only one way to get Brexit done in the face of this unrelenting parliamentary obstructionism, this endless, willful, fingers-crossed, ‘not me, guv’ refusal to deliver on the mandate of the people, and that is to refresh this parliament and give the people a choice.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously said his MPs would block a December election, but changed his mind after pressure from other opposition parties.
He said: “I can’t wait to get out there on the streets. In every town and village in this country, Labour will be there, giving a message of real hope where this government offers nothing.”
Meanwhile, 10 Tory MPs who were stripped of the whip last month after rebelling against the party line on Brexit were welcomed back into the parliamentary party on Tuesday night. It means those who want to remain MPs will be able to stand in the election as Conservative candidates.
UK NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS