“The attack on our democracy, in order to force through a disastrous no deal brexit is unprecedented, undemocratic and unconstitutional."
On tuesday, Conservative MP Philip Lee announced that he has defected from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats, meaning that Boris Johnson’s government no longer has a working majority in parliament, There is now complete uncertainty as to whether there will be an election, or a majority prepared to vote for a no deal exit.
“After a great deal of thought, I have reached the conclusion that it is no longer possible to serve my constituents’ and country’s best interests as a Conservative Member of Parliament. My letter to the Prime Minister” is what Philip Lee MP posted to twitter, following threats by Boris Johnson that any Conservative MP would face expulsion if they failed to support his plans to exit, with or without an exit deal on October 31st.
In his letter of resignation, Lee bemoaned the new climate that Brexit has created within the Conservative Party, saying, “Perhaps most disappointingly, it [the party] has become infected with the twin diseases of populism and english nationalism.”
It is uncertain whether a general election will now be called. Johnson said in Parliament on Tuesday that “I do not want an election”, but Whitehall sources say that the government is maneuvring behind the scenes for one.
It is also unclear whether Labour will back a new election. It has long been their policy to hold new elections and a new referendum on any Brexit deal, however, now that the country is so close to the Brexit deadline, sources have now told the BBC that a new election could make no deal more likely as there would not be time to draw a new exit agreement with the EU.
The controversy in Parliament comes as Johnson announced that the country’s legislature will be suspended so as to ensure an exit from the EU on the 31st October.
Many have condemned the move as a ‘coup’, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn commenting on Tuesday that, “The attack on our democracy, in order to force through a disastrous no deal brexit is unprecedented, undemocratic and unconstitutional. Labour will do all we can to protect our industry, protect our democracy, protect our people against this dangerous and reckless government.”