The prime minister is facing a fierce showdown in parliament on Tuesday as Tory rebel MPs have vowed to seize control in the House of Commons to block a no-deal Brexit.
On Monday evening Boris Johnson addressed the nation outside Number 10, he said, “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election.” However, a senior government source said moment after, that any attempt to “wreck” the UK’s negotiating position with Brussels will start a motion for an early election.
The source added, that the prime minister will most likely request a genera election on 14 October, should the move be successful. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA) the government would need two-thirds of MPs support to call a snap election.
Moreover, the government’s motion would be published before MPs start to vote on Tuesday, therefore MPs will know the full consequences to vote against the government, the source said.
The source said, “I think if you were to have any chance of securing a deal, which the PM has been very clear that he wants the deal, you would want to have that election on 14 October so that you can go to European Council and secure a deal.”
Should Tory rebel MPs vote against the government, this will be treated as a vote of no confidence, and any Tory MP that votes against the government could possibly see the whip being withdrawn.
A source close to the group of the Tory rebel MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit, and said, “It’s a bit rich for the prime minister to point the finger at colleagues who plan to defy the party whip – colleagues who voted for a deal three times – while he voted with Jeremy Corbyn [Labour leader] to inflict the two biggest parliamentary defeats on a government in British history.
“The prime minister seems to be doing everything he can to bring about an election, while claiming it’s the last thing he wants.”