Boris Johnson has warned MPs they “cannot hold the country hostage any longer” as he renews his push for a pre-Christmas general election.
The prime minister will on Monday make his third attempt at getting House of Commons support for the UK to go to the polls.
He has already seen opposition MPs twice last month snub his election demand.
But having now reluctantly written to the EU to request a three-month Brexit delay, Mr Johnson is pressuring opposition MPs to accept his view that “if parliament cannot agree a way forward” on Brexit “then is it time for a new parliament”.
Outlining his fear that the Commons will “waste the next three months like it’s wasted the last three years”, the prime minister is reiterating his “reasonable offer” that, in exchange for more time to consider his Brexit deal, MPs must back a 12 December election.
The House of Commons this week voted, in principle, to support Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal.
But a majority of MPs then blocked his proposed three-day timetable to consider ratifying legislation, as opponents accused the government of trying to “railroad” through the bill and “blindside” parliament with the tight timetable.
Mr Johnson has now “paused” the passage of his Withdrawal Agreement Bill through parliament, as he seeks an election commitment from MPs.
The prime minister said: “They say they want more time to discuss my new deal, they can have more time – indeed they can have all the parliamentary time they like, night and day between now and when parliament rises for the election – to scrutinise this deal and get it agreed one final time.
“But if they are to convince me and the country that they are really serious in wanting to do this, then they must set a fixed term to this debate – a real hard deadline that everyone can understand and everyone can believe in.
“So they must also agree to an election on 12 December.
“If they refuse this timetable – if they refuse to go the extra mile to complete Brexit – then I will have no choice but to conclude that they are not really sincere in their desire to get Brexit done.
“If they do not accept this offer, I will continue to campaign for an election and show the people in this country the stark choice before them: a Conservative government that will get Brexit done, deliver on their priorities and unite the country, or a Labour Party that will snarl us in further toxic debate, more delay, and bring forward two more referendum on Brexit and Scotland.
“Parliament cannot hold the country hostage any longer.
“Millions of businesses and people cannot plan their futures, this paralysis is causing real damage and the country must move on in 2020.”
The Conservatives are this weekend launching a digital campaign to reinforce Mr Johnson’s call for an election, including the use of social media adverts to direct people to a website where they can email their local MP asking them to back an election.
Under law, the prime minister needs two-thirds of all 650 MPs to vote in support of an early election being held, if the UK public is to be asked to go to the polls before May 2022.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has maintained his position that he will only agree with Mr Johnson’s call for an election if the possibility of a no-deal Brexit is “off the table”.
And neither the SNP or Liberal Democrats will support Mr Johnson’s motion in favour of an election on Monday while the possibility of a no-deal departure from the EU remains.
The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson have written to European Council President Donald Tusk to urge him to accept a Brexit delay to 31 January 2020 but with no option for the UK to leave the EU before that point.
The pair wrote: “With an extension secured to at least 31 January – or later – we, the opposition, can work together to facilitate an election giving the people the chance to decide what the UK’s next steps should be.
“We believe this is the only way to unlock what has become a deadlocked parliament and to enable the UK and the EU to move forward – whatever form that takes.”
A new Opinium poll published on Saturday saw the Conservatives increase their lead over Labour as they moved to 40% support.
Mr Corbyn’s party remained at 24%, with the Lib Dems on 15%.
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