Protests erupt as Boris Johnson suspends Parliament

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts forward a motion for an early general election in the House of Commons in London on September 9

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking as he put forward a motion for an early general election in the House of Commons

Norman Lamb, the sole Liberal Democrat MP involved, said he was hopeful that with Johnson now mandated under law to seek an extension to Brexit if he cannot find a deal, this could be an escape route for the PM.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson will continue campaigning for an election when he visits a primary school in London on Tuesday to mark the launch of an education drive which could see up to 30 new free schools established.

Johnson said he would go to the European Council meeting on October 17 to get a Brexit deal.

But it ended up jolting parliament into racing through legislation forcing Johnson to ask for what would be a third Brexit extension if no new deal emerges by October 19.

But amid stormy scenes in the chamber Mr Corbyn said he would not let his party walk into "traps laid by this Prime Minister".

The Times of London reports that Johnson and his brain trust, Dominic Cummings, seem set to decide on a "go big or go home" approach: Johnson will try to negotiate a deal with the European Union at the European Union summit on October 17.

This would likely move the Brexit battle to the courts and, with no real precedent for such a situation, the outcome and how long it might take to reach one are highly uncertain.

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused Johnson on Monday of behaving "undemocratically", saying he knows he doesn't have the support of parliament. "It's an utter disgrace", he added.

VETO THE EXTENSION Any EU decision to grant a Brexit extension would require agreement from all members.

Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party also confirmed they would vote against an election.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow announces he will stand down by 31 October
Commons Speaker John Bercow announcing he will step down

European leaders are also sceptical that another delay created to avoid economic disruption was still worth all the political pain. There has been debate about whether this is possible, but the government has yet to respond directly to those concerns.

There is speculation Mr Johnson could resign rather than ask for a delay, but someone - perhaps a civil servant, or an opposition politician - would have to make the request.

All MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit "should use the prorogation period to nail down an agreement on a caretaker government, headed by a more trustworthy and less divisive figure than Mr Corbyn, and on strategies for the following weeks and for an election".

Opposition leaders including Jeremy Corbyn say they will seek a general election only after a no-deal Brexit has been averted. He kicked 21 lawmakers out of the Conservative group in Parliament after they sided with the opposition, and saw two ministers quit his government - one of them his own brother.

"There has always been and remains a compromise that I believe could command the majority of the House of Commons - and which twice showed the highest level of support of any option", he said. The government had been openly manoeuvring to run a candidate against him at the next election.

Johnson had set up the suspension - called a prorogation - last month in what opponents cast as an attempt to sideline lawmakers over Brexit. If no other party leader can command a majority within the following 14 days, an election would be triggered.

The government was also instructed to publish messages relating to the suspension of parliament sent by his senior adviser, Dominic Cummings and other aides on social media and phones.

Yet Brussels has rejected the alternative proposals aired by Johnson as either unworkable or unacceptable under European Union rules. Rory Stewart, the former global development secretary who was among 21 Conservative MPs ejected from the party after supporting backbencher moves to block a no deal, said the wrong sort of Brexit could cause divisions for decades. There could be some leeway in altering the terms of the backstop.

But the chessboard has several dimensions: Johnson must factor the absence of any majority in parliament and the electoral threat from the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage, which increases if Brexit is delayed beyond October 31.

Given there is so little time left, any deal would in effect be a modified version of the Withdrawal Agreement that his predecessor Theresa May struck in November. Giving a clear indication that he would oppose Johnson's plans to the last, he said in his time as Speaker, "To deploy a perhaps risky phrase, I have also sought to be the backbencher's backstop".

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