Boris Johnson slammed MPs for causing ‘real damage’ over Brexit
The Prime Minister warned the political paralysis caused by MPs over Brexit is “causing real damage” to the country. His blast comes ahead of another crucial week in Parliament – again overshadowed by uncertainty – with the key election vote tomorrow. And Downing Street has made it clear the Government will bring back a vote on holding an election every day next week to show that the Labour Party is “running scared”.
The EU is expected to set a new Brexit extension leave date of January 31, leading Mr Johnson to attack Remainer MPs.
He said: “My worry is Parliament will just waste the next three months like it’s wasted the last three years. It is a pretty widespread view in this country that this Parliament has run its course.
“For more than three years, Parliament has consistently told the country what it doesn’t want, but it has never been willing or able to say what it does want.
“This has left our country unable to move on and do what is needed to get Brexit done.
“Parliament cannot hold the country hostage any longer. Millions of businesses and people cannot plan their futures, this paralysis is causing real damage and the country must move on in 2020.”
The prime minister is worried ‘Parliament will just waste the next three months’
Mr Johnson added: “Exactly 95 days ago, I said I would break this impasse by going back to Brussels and getting a great new deal for our country.
“They told me the EU would never renegotiate and certainly not on improved terms.
“But with hard work, determination and a skilled negotiating team, we managed to agree a great new deal.
“We could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“But instead of grabbing this great new deal with both hands and helping move our country forward, Parliament chose to ask for more tunnel.
“This is why I reluctantly came to the conclusion that if Parliament cannot agree a way forward then it is time for a new Parliament – and the only means of doing this is via a general election.
“I have made a very reasonable offer to Jeremy Corbyn and the opposition.”
With Labour split over whether to agree to an election on December 12, a source close to party leader Mr Corbyn insisted a decision would not be made until the EU has revealed its intentions.
The bloc is expected to grant a Brexit extension, but senior sources have said a debate is still going on about whether to allow a short technical pause of a few weeks – allowing the PM’s deal to be passed – or three months.
A senior diplomatic source said: “A decision to veto an extension would not come from one country but a collective.
“The member states are split over a short or long extension and that has not been resolved yet. We just want an end to this process.”
Government sources have confirmed that the final stages of no-deal preparations, named Operation Yellowhammer, have been initiated.
This is in case Britain ends up leaving on Thursday in a clean-break Brexit.There are fears that Labour is working with other Remainer MPs to put together a bill to rule out No Deal altogether, which could have the effect of forcing Britain to remain in the EU.
There are also concerns that if the paralysis continues, the Government will not be able to pass a Budget before the next financial year, causing huge damage to the nation’s finances.
One senior Tory MP said: “It would cause chaos, crash the markets and mean that the country could not raise the revenue it needs for health, schools and the police.”
The Treasury refused to discuss what would happen if a Budget was not passed before April.
The Prime Minister received a huge boost from an Opinium poll last night which saw the Conservatives extend their lead over Labour to 16 points.
The Tories climbed three points to 40 per cent, while Labour languished on 24 per cent and the Lib Dems dropped one point to 15 per cent.
UK financial market could be greatly disrupted if Budget not passed before next financial year
However, Mr Johnson’s tactics are being questioned by a number of Tory MPs.
Government ministers and advisers were recently briefed that despite the Tories’ double digit lead in the polls, the next election will be the most uncertain in history.
Thirty to 40 per cent of voters are willing to vote tactically, which means there could be between 125 to 150 marginal seats in this election.
Other Tory backbenchers have voiced their disquiet over Mr Johnson’s decision to pause the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
One senior MP said: “We should be pushing the bill and forcing them to keep voting for new motions. That would flush out what Labour and the Remainers are trying to do.” Another added: “This pause is playing into Labour’s hands – it looks like we are blocking Brexit.”
Downing Street sources have confirmed talks are taking place with independent and rebel Tory MPs over a new motion allowing extra time to debate the bill.
Talks with Labour about it have been described as “minimal”.