After weeks of uncertainty surrounding whether the opposition would join with Boris Johnson to end the Brexit impasse by calling for a general election this year, a deal has finally been reached, and it looks like Johnson will get the 2/3rds majority he needs to dissolve Parliament and call for elections.
Cable, which had been under pressure Tuesday morning as the greenback rallied, spiked on the news, to trade at $1.2840, compared with $1.2807 earlier in the session.
As was foreshadowed on Monday when shadow cabinet ministers admitted that Labour had been "snookered," the party finally capitulated and agreed to back Johnson, with leader Jeremy Corbyn agreeing to another embarrassing U-turn. Corbyn said his No. 1 condition was that a no-deal Brexit be off the table (this is already the case thanks to the Benn Act), Bloomberg reports.
Does this mean the election is a sure thing? Not quite. Rather, a period of squabbling over the timing of the vote is about to begin, as different parties have expressed support for different dates.
Some, including Philip Hammond, accused Johnson of using the Brexit process to his political advantage by pushing for a vote ahead of Brexit, instead of immediately after. Hammond said Tuesday that Johnson's general election plan is an attempt to "fundamentally shift the party further to the right." The move would "encourage party entryism" (given all the moderate tories who have been expelled from the party, and can now be replaced by party hardliners). Hammond, now an independent MP, added that voters shouldn't blame Parliament for holding back Brexit, since it was Johnson himself who passed over the chance to get his deal passed, since MPs had supported the deal, but only asked for more time to look it over, according to the Guardian.
After losing a vote to call an election on Monday, Johnson said his deal is now off the table until a vote is held, threatening eternal gridlock unless his opposition parties agreed to the vote.
"Parliament signaled very clearly it was willing to progress this bill. It is the government that has blocked it, and the government should now stop blocking Brexit, allow parliament to get on with the Brexit bill and deliver a Brexit by the end of November," Hammond said.
There's also the issue of opposition support for keeping settled EU citizens on the electoral register.
Is a December GE now locked on? Not quite yet. I'm told Labour will back amendments to put settled EU citizens on the electoral register. IF SNP/LDS do too, the Govt could yet pull the bill... so they may not.— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) October 29, 2019
A marathon session of debate in Parliament is now about to begin, though it looks like Johnson will ultimately have the votes.
With Labour reportedly now willing to back a general election, it looks like we're set for an election in December. Our most recent voting intention poll had the parties on:— YouGov (@YouGov) October 29, 2019
Con - 36%
Lab - 23%
Lib Dem - 18%
Brexit Party - 12%
Green - 6%
Other - 6%https://t.co/fDENF0Br2z pic.twitter.com/KmabY20eIR
Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government wants the election bill to pass all House of Commons stages on Tuesday, meaning that the debate over the bill could continue "until any hour."