Brexit Showdown in Parliament as Boris Johnson Warns of a General Election – The New York Times
The confusion surrounding Brexit, and the fears about damage to the British economy if the country leaves without a deal, have taken their toll on the pound. On Tuesday, the currency dropped below $1.20 before bouncing back above that mark later in the day.
Despite the threats of a party purge, Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the Exchequer under Mr. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, said on Tuesday that he would join the efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit, adding that he thought the rebels had enough support for victory.
Mr. Hammond also dismissed claims from the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, that opponents of a no-deal Brexit were undermining Mr. Johnson’s negotiating strategy in Brussels. There had been, Mr. Hammond told the BBC, no progress in those talks.
To add to the turmoil and confusion, the opposition Labour Party said it might thwart Mr. Johnson’s attempt to push for a general election, should it come to that. Under a 2011 law, the prime minister needs a two-thirds majority in order to secure a snap election.
The bitter dispute has taken Britain into new political territory. Last week Mr. Johnson provoked outrage by curtailing Parliament’s sessions in September and October, compacting the amount of time lawmakers would have to deal with the most crucial decision the country has faced in decades.