Brexit: MPs could put UK PM Boris Johnson in a 'weird sort of limbo'

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By Jason Parkinson
Brexit: MPs could put UK PM Boris Johnson in a 'weird sort of limbo'

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is likely to be left in a "weird sort of limbo" after key votes in the UK parliament tonight, an expert has told Euronews.

MPs are voting in the House of Commons on legislation aimed at extending the Brexit deadline beyond October 31 to avoid a no-deal departure.

This move, by opposition MPs as well as some Conservative rebels, prompted Johnson to put forward a motion to call a general election.

MPs will vote on this after the Brexit extension legislation. Two-thirds must back Johnson's call for an election for it to happen. 

Anand Menon, director of UK in a Changing Europe analyst group, said Johnson faces being defeated in both votes.

“Well we’re potentially looking at two crucial votes, we’re looking at a vote on the bill that they started talking about yesterday and potentially on a general election," he said. 

"My gut feeling is that the bill will pass, there’s no reason why the Tory rebels who voted against the government yesterday and lost the whip won’t do so again. 

"Equally my gut feeling is that Boris Johnson certainly won’t get two-thirds majority he needs to get a general election, in which case the prime minister will be in a weird sort of limbo, legally mandated to do something he’s refused to do, but without being able to call a general election."

The main opposition party, Labour, has said it will not back a general election until the delay has been agreed with the European Union.

“If we have a general election after Boris Johnson has asked for an extension from the EU, he’s likely to get hammered by the Brexit Party," added Menon.

"If he has a general election early before he goes to the European Council in the middle of October that might change the dynamics of that meeting. So when we have that election and under what circumstances is fundamental.”

Menon was speaking to Euronews outside the House of Commons, where protesters on both sides of the Brexit debate have been airing their views and highlighting the divisions present in the country since the 201`6 referendum.

Richard, a pro-Brexit campaigner from Surrey, said: “We’re very keen that Boris gets the mandate he needs to deliver Brexit, so I do think a general election is very important, it’s very important the Conservative candidate list is very tight, that we don’t have people as before who, for example, are Remainers who turn round and say well we’re not supporting the government. 

"The Conservatives have to be very clear the if you are standing as a Conservative candidate you have to believe in Brexit and I think if Boris gets a majority we’ll be able to deliver a proper Brexit.”

Josephine Pye, a retired civil servant from Greenwich, London, wants to stop Brexit altogether.

“There will be a general election but I think it cannot be until after no deal has been taken off the table because that is no way to hold a general election," she told Euronews.

"We have to have clearer grounds, we have to understand the implications of a general election and with no deal on the table we could be bounced out before we even have our election. 

"I don’t trust Boris Johnson, millions of us don’t trust Boris Johnson and his secret advisers. 

"So, no, there will be a general election, I will be voting but I will vote for any party that has remain [in the EU] at its core.