Labour is planning for an election ‘this side of Christmas’ following a Brexit delay after Boris Johnson taunts Jeremy Corbyn to ‘name the date’ to go to the polls in late-night tweet
- Shami Chakrabarti accused the Prime minister of speaking with a ‘forked tongue’
- PM last night demanded Jeremy Corbyn ‘name the date’ of the next election
- Came after weeks of deadlock over Brexit and an election to decide matters
Labour wants an election this side of Christmas once Boris Johnson has been forced to delay Brexit into the new year, a senior shadow fronbencher said today.
Shami Chakrabarti accused the Prime minister of speaking with a ‘forked tongue’ over whether he legally has to seek a three-month delay to the departure from the EU.
She insisted that the backbench Benn Act concocted by MPs last month was was drafted carefully, and that Mr Johnson will not be able to lawfully take the UK out of the EU without a deal, or without Parliament’s approval.
Her intervention came after Mr Johnson last night demanded that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ‘name the date’ of the election after his party repeatedly blocked Tory attempts to call one immediately.
Ms Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that once Benn Act has been complied with – October 19 is the cut-off – there should be a general election, ‘certainly this side of Christmas’.
It paves the way for a December election, as the campaign usually takes five weeks.
Shami Chakrabarti accused the Prime minister of speaking with a ‘forked tongue’ over whether he legally has to seek a three-month delay to the departure from the EU
Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay had earlier told Marr: ‘Getting Brexit done is the best way to get national unity in this country.’
Baroness Chakrabarti, however, questioned how Brexit can be achieved in compliance with the law.
She said: ‘It was drafted with great care after a great deal of co-operation across the House of Commons and it is very very specific and explicit about the personal duty on the Prime Minister to either get a deal through the House of Commons or persuade the House of Commons that no-deal is plausible, or he has to write a letter.
‘The letter has been drafted and attached to the Act to the European Union asking for more time.’
She added: ‘He seems to have a very casual relationship with the law. He seems to think he is above the law.
‘As the Supreme Court showed us a few weeks ago, he is not. No-one is above the law, even a British Prime Minister.’
She said it is important to see what a Boris Johnson deal might look like, and that Parliament must be able to scrutinise his proposals. She said his current proposals ‘cannot get through’.
She said, however, that if a deal was approved by Dublin and Brussels, it would be something that would be ‘more likely’ to pass Labour’s tests.