situation report

Aug 9, 2019 | 14:01 GMT

2 mins read

U.K.: Corbyn Asks Civil Service Chief to Clarify Whether Government Plans Election After Brexit

What Happened: British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has asked civil service chief Mark Sedwill to clarify whether the British government intends to produce a no-deal Brexit in the middle of an election campaign, The Guardian reported Aug. 8. In his letter to Sedwill, Corbyn accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of plotting an abuse of power after rumors suggested Johnson intends to schedule an election just days after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union on Oct. 31.

Why It Matters: If Johnson loses a potential confidence vote in Parliament and still tries to schedule a general election after Oct. 31 without asking the European Union to delay Brexit, it would raise questions regarding the move's legality. Some British legal experts have argued that the government cannot make decisions on crucial policy issues during an election campaign, whereas others have argued that Brexit doesn't constitute a government decision, but a natural outcome of the Brexit process.

Background: Johnson has promised to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union on Oct. 31, even if it results in a no-deal Brexit. In the meantime, the Labour Party has been involved in talks with some members of the Conservative Party to trigger a no-confidence motion against Johnson.

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