Europe Politics

UK PM Boris Johnson says he wants December 12 general election

Key Points
  • A vote on whether to hold a general election will be held before Christmas is to be held on Monday.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Boris Johnson gives a press conference at European Parliament on October 17, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.
Jean Catuffe | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will give lawmakers more time to study his Brexit deal but only if they agree to a general election on December 12.

Johnson, in a letter to main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, said Thursday that if there is support for his election plan, then Parliament could be dissolved on November 6.

A motion to Parliament on whether to hold an election will be held on Monday. The vote will require two-thirds of the House to pass, which equates to 434 lawmakers.

Johnson published his election proposal on Twitter.

Following the news, sterling weakened to $1.2807 versus the dollar — a one week low.

The U.K. leader said that should he win a majority in an election he would ratify a withdrawal deal agreed with Brussels earlier this month.

The European Union is currently deciding how long an extension it wants to give the U.K. for membership while it attempts to agree on a withdrawal deal among U.K. lawmakers.

Johnson said his preference would be for a short extension to mid or late November.  

In a BBC interview, Johnson said the current make-up of Parliament had been "going on for a long time" and it had become "impossible to deliver legislation."

Should Labour refuse to vote for an election, Johnson said he would campaign "day after day for the people of this country to be released from subjection to a Parliament that has outlived its usefulness."