British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday moved to dismiss talk of an early general election despite a High Court ruling that Parliament must vote on whether to start the Brexit process.
With just a narrow majority in the House of Commons and most MPs having backed Remain, the ruling by the court presents a new hurdle to the Prime Minister – who would be far from certain to get Article 50 through, the Independent online reported.
However, asked about the possibility of an early election to shore up the Conservatives’ majority, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “No. Our position has been clear that there should not be an election until 2020 – and that remains the Prime Minister’s view.”
Current polls suggest May would be returned to office with a significantly increased majority as Labour flounders on some of its lowest poll ratings in recent history.
Whether a parliamentary vote will take place is not yet certain as the Government has said it will appeal the High Court ruling at the Supreme Court, which will hear the case in December.
The refusal to countenance an early contest comes despite Brexit Secretary David Davis warning that the Government would need to pass a bill through both the House of Commons and House of Lords – both of which are thought to have a Remain majority.
“The judges have laid out what we can’t do and not exactly what we can do, but we are presuming it requires an Act of Parliament, therefore both Commons and Lords,” the Independent online quoted Davis as saying on Thursday.
Though there were few outright calls for an early election from politicians, a number said they believed the ruling brought one a step closer.
The court ruling came on a landmark case brought by businesswoman Gina Miller who sought to block the Prime Minister from formally enacting the Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union without first submitting it to a parliamentary vote.