There will be a general election on 14 October if MPs defeat the government tomorrow on no-deal Brexit legislation. Number 10 will publish a motion tomorrow which says that if MPs do take control of the Order Paper and pass legislation for an extension to the Brexit deadline, there will be a general election. Senior government sources have just briefed that they do not want an election, but that this motion will show MPs that they are voting for one if they back the legislation.
The sentiments offered at this bullish briefing were much stronger than the ones given by Johnson. The official said: ‘If you’re an MP, you don’t get to cancel Brexit in this way.’ He also argued that Tory MPs who back the legislation will merely be handing control of the Brexit negotiations to Jeremy Corbyn.
Johnson may not have wanted to go on the record with such a direct threat, but his operation is keen to make clear that this is what will happen. Sources also dismissed speculation from Labour MPs that Johnson could get parliament to back a pre-Brexit election and then switch the date of polling day to after 31 October. They said the aim of the election would be to get the Prime Minister in place in time for the European Council meeting on 17/18 October. If MPs defeat the government tomorrow – and it looks likely that they will – then they will be heading to the polls in just a few weeks’ time.