By Sean Jackson
In the United Kingdom, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is looming and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called upon Prime Minister Boris Johnson to help prevent the country from facing the repercussions of leaving the EU with no deal.
On Thursday, August 8th Corbyn wrote a message to cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill, calling the Prime Minister’s move to have a general election a single day after Brexit as unprecedented, stating, “Forcing through No Deal against a decision of parliament and denying the choice to voters in a general election already underway would be an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic abuse of power by a Prime Minister elected not by the public, but by a small number of unrepresentative Conservative Party Members.”
The United Kingdom is currently set to leave the EU on October 31st this year.
Corbyn’s letter asked for clarifications surrounding the ‘rules of Purdah.’ In the letter he states, “I am therefore writing to seek your urgent clarification on the proper application of ‘Purdah’ rules in such a scenario and the constitutional implications of failing to abide by those rules.” Purdah refers to a rule that disallows a government from making policy decisions during an election campaign.
The letter asked for Sedwill to extend Article 50 and allow an incoming administration to make a decision about Brexit based on the results. Article 50 refers to the clause in the EU’s Lisbon Treaty that outlines steps to exit the bloc voluntarily, and serves as a means for countries to declare their intention of leaving officially.
There has been speculation that members of Parliament could potentially entertain a vote of no confidence on the current Prime Minister before October 31st in an attempt to stop a no-deal Brexit from taking place. If the vote is successful it would trigger a general election.
Many MPs see a no confidence vote to be the last line of defense available to those who do not wish to see a “no deal” Brexit passing with the European Union. If the vote were to pass, it would force the Prime Minister to resign, and give a fourteen-day period to find an alternative government comprised of a small number of Conservatives and opposition MPs.
Dominic Cummings, a senior aide in Downing Street, warns that Johnson would simply refuse to resign in the following fourteen days, allowing the UK to leave the EU with no deal before calling the general election.
When asked whether or not he would resign if a vote of no confidence passed, Prime Minister Johnson stressed the need to leave the EU, stating, “I think that what MPs should do and what I think they’ve already voted to do, when triggering article 50 and reconfirmed several times, is honour the mandate of the people and leave the EU on October 31th.”