Britain’s opposition Labour Party has vowed to call a vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson’s government as soon as it believes it can win it and seeks to form a temporary government under leader Jeremy Corbyn to delay Brexit.
Prime Minister Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the European Union by October 31, with or without a deal, setting the scene for a showdown in parliament where lawmakers are opposed to a divorce without a transition agreement.
In a letter to party leaders and other senior politicians, Corbyn said his “strictly time-limited temporary government” would delay Britain’s departure from the EU beyond October 31 and hold a general election.
He said Labour would campaign in the election to hold a second referendum on the Brexit terms, including an option as to whether the country should remain in the bloc three years after it voted to leave.
“This government has no mandate for No Deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for No Deal,” Corbyn said in the letter to other opposition party leaders, and high profile cross-party politicians.
“I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success.”
Lawmakers return from their summer break on September 3, reconvening for a battle over Brexit that will determine the fortunes of the world’s fifth-largest economy.
Johnson, who led the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, has staked his premiership on getting Britain out by October 31, prompting politicians from all sides to try to stop him.
On Wednesday he said those trying to block Brexit were engaged in “a terrible kind of collaboration”, after former finance minister Philip Hammond said parliament would block a no-deal exit, and that the government must respect it.
Were Johnson’s government to lose a no-confidence vote, lawmakers would have a 14-day period to try to form a new administration, otherwise a general election would be called which could be held after the October 31 exit date.
“Jeremy Corbyn wants to cancel the referendum and argue about Brexit for years,” Johnson said on Twitter. “I am committed to leading our country forward and getting Britain out of the EU by October 31st.”
Opponents of a no-deal exit say it would be a disaster for what was one of the West’s most stable democracies, shattering supply chains, damaging global growth, and weakening Britain’s standing in the world.
Brexit supporters say while there may be short-term disruption, it would provide a clean break from the bloc and allow the economy to thrive.
Parliamentary votes have shown there is a small majority against a no-deal Brexit and Corbyn.