Nigel Farage says PM Johnson does not want a no-deal Brexit

Nigel Farage says PM Johnson does not want a no-deal Brexit

They will seek first to take control of the parliamentary agenda to make time on Wednesday to debate a bill that could see Brexit delayed to Jan 31, 2020, if no deal is agreed.

"I don't want an election, but if MPs vote tomorrow to stop negotiations and compel another pointless delay to Brexit, potentially for years, then that would be the only way to resolve this", Johnson told parliament after the vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly called for an election and warned that if the legislative route fails, he may try to force one by calling a confidence vote in the government.

But his critics won an early boost by the dramatic defection of Conservative MP Phillip Lee, who crossed the Commons while Johnson was speaking to sit with the pro-European Liberal Democrats.

The battle over Brexit may reach a crescendo this week, with Johnson's implicit warning on Monday that he would seek an election if MPs tied his hands on Brexit effectively ruling out the possibility of a further delay to the UK's departure from the European Union, its largest trading partner. - The fate of Brexit hung in the balance on Tuesday as parliament prepared for an explosive showdown with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's that could end in a snap election.

Johnson has threatened to kick out any Conservative lawmakers who join with the main opposition Labour Party in the voting to begin a process that could delay Brexit to January.

The bloc is adamant it will not renegotiate the agreement struck with former Prime Minister Theresa May, which Johnson considers unacceptable.

"The next 48 hours will determine whether or not this high-risk strategy from the prime minister has paid off, or whether or not he has been corralled into a corner, or conversely still there are several options where we are simply going for the uncertainty of an election mid-October".

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Dominic Grieve, who was attorney general in David Cameron's government, says the expulsion threats demonstrate Johnson's "ruthlessness".

"It will hand control of the negotiations to the European Union".

Rebels within Johnson's own party are threatening to force the government to seek a further extension of the October 31 Brexit deadline. It was trading as low as 1.1965 against the USA dollar in early morning, marking its lowest level since a flash crash in October 2016 when the currency briefly fell sharply to 1.15 against the US dollar before rapidly rebounding.

Johnson cast the challenge as an attempt to force Britain to surrender to the European Union just as he hopes to secure concessions on the terms of the divorce, helped by the threat to walk out without one.

Pro and anti-Brexit protesters compete for attention outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 3, 2019.

But in his public statement, Johnson insisted this was something "I don't want and you don't want".

His decision will weaken Johnson as he tries to prevent parliament from blocking his Brexit plans.

No 10 has said the prime minister will push for an election if they succeed.