Number 10 Downing Street is said to be laying the groundwork for the General Election in face of Remain-supporting MPs planning to topple the Conservative government in response to the prime minister’s pledge to deliver Brexit by October 31st with or without a deal, reports The Times.
Europhile Tory MP Dominic Grieves said that there were options that the Remain-dominated House of Commons could execute to stop or reverse Brexit, telling BBC Radio 4 on Sunday: “There are a number of things which the House of Commons can do, including bringing down the government and setting up a new government in its place.”
MPs are currently on summer recess and Remainer MPs could trigger a vote of no confidence after the Parliament returns on September 3rd. If a no-confidence vote were passed and no alternative government could be formed within a fortnight, a snap General Election would be automatically triggered.
However, Mr Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings reportedly told ministers that Remainers were “too late” to stop a no-deal Brexit, allegedly saying: “They don’t realise that if there is a no-confidence vote in September or October, we’ll call an election for after the 31st and leave anyway.”
Mr Cummings is said to be planning a Facebook campaign for a “’people versus the politicians’ election”, with a Conservative Party source telling the Financial Times: “We have a single-digit majority and we have to be realistic about the chances that a General Election is going to happen. If it does, our absolute intention would be to win it.
“It’s a pragmatic stance, given what some people have said about supporting the government in any confidence vote.”
The Tory Party’s chairman James Cleverly denied on Sunday that Prime Minister Johnson’s team was preparing for an election, telling Sky News: “We are not going to initiate a general election. We have elections all the time.
“What we have got here is a new Prime Minister who during the leadership campaign made a number of specific commitments. He is setting about delivering on those commitments.”
The reports come as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party revealed that they would be announcing another group of Westminster candidates ready to face a snap General Election. A further group of 50 new candidates were announced Monday, ramping up the pressure on Mr Johnson to deliver Brexit.
Mr Farage said on Sunday that Boris Johnson should reconsider his opposition to a strategic pact with the Brexit Party, where each would only field one candidate in constituencies that have the highest chance of a Leave-supporting party winning, so to avoid Tory-on-Brexit-Party fighting where vote-splitting would result in a victory for pro-Remain Labour or the Liberal Democrats.
The Brexit Party leader continues to doubt that Prime Minister Johnson will deliver Brexit by October 31st, with fellow party MEP Claire Fox telling Sky News on Sunday that the Tories were “arrogant” to think that the Brexit Party should step aside for the Conservatives in an election.
Ms Fox said: “The first job of the Brexit Party is to make sure Brexit’s delivered and if that involves electoral pacts, that might happen.
“Maybe the Tory party might, instead of telling the Brexit Party what to do, make an approach to the Brexit Party and say I’ll tell you what, we’ll stand aside in certain areas.
“That would be a very positive thing for me, let’s work together for a new kind of politics.”