Foreign

British parliament braces for showdown that could prompt snap polls

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Britain’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday says it is due to return from recess with lawmakers bracing for a showdown that can lead to a snap election.

A group of lawmakers were expected to put forward legislation in a fresh bid to stop a no-deal Brexit after Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that Britain would leave the EU on October 31.

If successful, the bill would force the prime minister to ask for Brexit to be delayed until January 31, unless lawmakers approved a new deal or vote in favour of a no-deal Brexit by October 19.

However, government sources said Mr Johnson would request to schedule a general election for October 14, if the lawmakers’ move was successful.

Mr Johnson did his best on Monday to dampen speculation about fresh elections, however, with protesters threatening to drown him out in Downing Street.

Mr Johnson said: “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election.”

Earlier, Mr Johnson had called an unscheduled cabinet meeting in the face of a potential revolt from some of his own Conservative members of parliament.

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he thought “there will be enough people to get this over the line today.

“He called it “rank hypocrisy” that Downing Street had threatened rebel lawmakers with expulsion and deselection.

He warned of the “fight of a lifetime” if officials attempt to prevent him from standing at the next general election as a Conservative candidate.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd urged the government to think carefully about taking such a dramatic step in response to the threat of expulsion and deselection.

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