UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS OF JOHNSON, LABOUR PARTY LEADER; ADDS BACKGROUND
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has challenged the opposition parties to initiate a “no confidence motion” against him Wednesday.
Johnson’s statement came during the first sitting of the House of Commons, which convened a day after the Supreme Court annulled a five-week long prorogation by the government.
Johnson said the public do not want a second referendum but the first one was honored.
It is no disrespect to say that while he respects the Supreme Court, he thinks its decision was wrong, Johnson stressed.
Referring to last two votes on snap election motion, which was brought to the House by the government, Johnson said the opposition parties could have voted for an election.
Calling the idea of a second referendum "fantasy”, Johnson said he wanted to show the public there is “life after Brexit”.
“The public don’t want another referendum -- what they want and what they demand is that we honour the promise we made to the voters to respect the first referendum,” he said.
“And they also want us to move on -- to put Brexit behind us and focus on the NHS [National Health Service], on violent crime and on cutting the cost of living.That is why I also brought forward a Queen’s speech. My government intends to present a programme for life after Brexit.”
Responding to Johnson, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister should have done the right thing and “resigned” following the Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday.
“If he wants an election, get an extension and let’s have an election,” Corbyn said.
The opposition parties and Tory rebels, who already passed a law that requires Johnson to request a third extension from the EU if he cannot secure a deal by Oct. 19, are now mulling ways to force him to obey the law and do as necessary. This is because Johnson has repeatedly pledged he will not seek a further extension from Brussels and the U.K. will leave on Oct. 31.
The opposition is reluctant to call a no-confidence vote, as the Labour Party does not trust Johnson. For this maneuver would free him to dissolve parliament for an election, which could be set for a date beyond Oct. 31, thus facilitating the no-deal Brexit they have tried so hard to avoid.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared the prorogation null and void as well as of no effect.
The parliament convened a day after for business.
The U.K. is set to leave the EU on Oct. 31 if the government can secure a deal by the next European Council in the last week of October.