Prior to important votes in the Lower House about a British farewell to the European Union and the launch of early parliamentary elections, the divisions in British politics have become even greater with a new proposal from part of the opposition. The Liberal Democrats (LibDems) and the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) come up with proprietary proposals for early elections, while the Labor opposition rejects that and it is not yet known whether the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Boris Johnson will support it.
The leaders of the British opposition parties SNP and Liberal Democrats say that they are willing to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson's wish for new elections at the end of this year. They do, however, require the European Union to postpone Britain until January 31. Brussels, on the other hand, only wants to take a decision once the British Parliament has taken a decision on whether or not to vote early.
This threatens to create the situation that not only London and EU await each other who will be the first to take a decision, but there is now also the risk of an impasse between the British government and the British opposition, and between the three British opposition parties themselves.
Johnson wants to hold new elections on December 12 and will probably put that proposal to the vote on Monday. To get his proposal through, he needs the support of a two-thirds majority, and therefore also from the opposition. But for the Labor opposition, new elections are only negotiable once the risk of a Brexit without agreement with the EU is over, and Labor is still against anything and nothing for now.
The Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats are opposed to leaving the EU, and therefore also against the UK-EU Brexit agreement. The two parties have now asked EU President Donald Tusk to agree to Johnson's earlier request for a postponement of the Brexit until the end of January 2020. The SNP and Liberal Democrats, both opposed to the Brexit, proposed on December 9 holding new elections.
The British "constitution" stipulates that a government proposal to hold early elections requires a two-thirds majority. However, it is unclear whether the support of the SNP and the LibDems will be sufficient for this, now that part of Labor and the Northern Irish DUP will vote against it.
The change that the LibDems and SNP intend to submit Monday to Prime Minister Johnson's election proposal requires only a 'simple' majority (half plus one), but it is unclear whether the Conservatives are willing to accept the terms of SNP and LibDems.
Moreover, the chance cannot be ruled out that the EU or the European Parliament will not take a decision on Monday regarding possible postponement because the British position is not yet clear.