Today (27th October) the Liberal Democrats announce they will propose a Bill to amend the Fixed Term Parliament Act to hold a General Election on Monday December 9th.
The plan, which is backed by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, would amend the Fixed Term Parliament Act to set the date of the next General Election, with Parliament being dissolved on Thursday following its passage this week.
As this is a simple Bill, it would require only a simple majority, as opposed to the two thirds majority required under the normal FTPA legislation.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:
"Boris Johnson has missed his ‘do-or-die’ deadline and is now asking Parliament to give him a General Election and time for him to ram through his Brexit Bill through Parliament. That is a bad deal, and Liberal Democrats will not vote for it.
"We need to get Boris Johnson out of office, unlock the gridlock in Parliament and give people the chance to vote to stay in the EU. A general election on our proposed timetable would take no-deal off the table, and give the public the chance to elect a Liberal Democrat Government who will revoke Article 50 or increase the number of MPs who support a People’s Vote.
"The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and have led the campaign to stay in the EU for the last three years."
● The Bill amends the Fixed Term Parliament Act to insert the next date for a Parliamentary General Election for December 9th 2019.
● The Bill only comes into force if the EU offer an extension to at least 31st January 2020, and the timetable means that Boris Johnson cannot bring back his WAB and try to force it through Parliament.
● This mechanism also means Parliament controls the date of an election, whereas a vote of no confidence would all Boris Johnson to pick the date if an emergency Government could not be formed.
Tuesday (29th) – HoC considers all stages of the Bill
Wednesday (30th) – HoL considers all stages of the Bill
Thursday (31st) – Royal Assent, with dissolution of Parliament immediately after.
Monday (4th Nov) – Start of the regulated period/25 days
Monday (9th Dec) – Polling day