Which comes first? The extension or the election call?
- Brexit: Boris Johnson faces election quandary
- Boris Johnson to propose Dec 12 election
- Corbyn says he supports a general election but wants to know EU stance first
- EU may now wait until Monday to announce decision on length of Brexit extension
- It increasingly looks like Boris is going all-in on an election
You would expect the EU to respond first with the timing of an extension before the UK government proposes an election motion but politics aren't always that straightforward.
As things stand, the EU wants to know what Johnson and his government plans to do with an extension to the Brexit deadline and that could mean leaving the decision in limbo up until next week to get a gauge of the UK's plans first.
Meanwhile, it makes no sense for Johnson to call an election without knowing if he will have the support (from Labour, who is waiting for the EU extension) and time to do so - because an extension may just be for just a couple of weeks, although unlikely.
It's basically a chicken and egg conundrum but in this case, eventually one side will have to give in and that will be the EU - thanks to the 31 October Brexit deadline.
However, even if the EU extends the deadline to 31 January 2020, an election motion is not guaranteed to pass and is especially difficult because of the two-thirds majority in parliament that is needed.
Johnson doesn't look like he has full support from all his party members and neither does Corbyn. As such, the numbers may be a bit iffy but we will see in the coming days.
There are other options too as highlighted in the first linked post above but I doubt Johnson would pursue them unless he is really that desperate and power hungry.