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A fourth Brexit extension could follow a General Election - Cambridge law expert

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By Euronews
A fourth Brexit extension could follow a General Election - Cambridge law expert

A European law expert from Cambridge University says a fourth Brexit extension could follow a UK General Election.

Professor Kenneth Armstrong's comments to Euronews' Good Morning Europe came as a third extension to the process for the UK was confirmed by the European Union.

The House of Commons is on Monday set to discuss and vote on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan for a December 12th General Election. but Professor Armstrong said that the election Johnson craves may not be the end of the process:

"If there is a General Election, we may end up with a hung parliament. There's no guarantee that Boris Johnson would necessarily win an outright majority.

"And if a government is formed that wants to hold another referendum, then there would necessarily have to be another extension after this."

This is Johnson's third attempt to call an early election. He lost two similar votes in September because opponents said they wanted to first make sure Britain could not leave the EU without a deal.

Britain has laws setting out a fixed schedule for an election every five years, with provisions for holding an early election. To hold an early election, Johnson would need two thirds of MPs to vote for it.

Another possible way to trigger an early election could be to pass a one-line act of parliament; this would simply state that parliament had decreed that an election will take place on a certain date and would need to be approved by a simple majority in the Commons.

But opposition parties could also add amendments, such as reducing the voting age.

An election can also be triggered if opponents put down a motion of no confidence in the government and win a simple majority for it. This would lead to a 14-day period during which others can seek to form a new government by a vote of confidence. If this cannot be achieved, an election is called.

However, because the Prime Minister is himself arguing for an election, this route is not expected to be the one chosen.