U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will seek a general election Dec. 12, setting up a national vote on his Brexit strategy.
Mr. Johnson briefed his cabinet Thursday and announced that a motion will be put to Parliament for a vote Monday. It will need a two-thirds majority for an election to be called.
"'It is our duty to end this nightmare and provide the country with a solution as soon as we reasonably can," Mr. Johnson said in a letter to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn appealing for his lawmakers to support the move. "These repeated delays have been bad for the economy, bad for businesses, and bad for millions of people trying to plan their futures."
The European Union was widely expected to grant a three-month extension when ambassadors meet Friday in Brussels, putting back the U.K.'s exit until Jan. 31. Mr. Johnson said in an interview with the BBC that he will give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal if they agree to the Dec. 12 date.
"The way to get Brexit done is I think to be reasonable with Parliament and say, 'If they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal, they can have it but they have to agree to a general election on Dec. 12,' " Mr. Johnson said in a pooled TV interview. "It's time frankly that the opposition summoned up the nerve to submit themselves to the judgement of our collective boss which is the people of the U.K."
Mr. Johnson will need two-thirds of members of Parliament to back the motion, giving Labour an effective veto if all of its 245 MPs hold the party line. He's twice failed to win Parliaments support for an early national vote.
If Parliament gives its approval there will need to be 25 working days after it is dissolved before an election can be held.
Mr. Johnson pledged "do or die" to get Brexit done by the existing deadline of Oct. 31, and tried to get parliamentary approval for an accelerated timetable to pass his agreement into U.K. law. But members of Parliament — who voted in favor of the deal in principle — rejected a three-day schedule for the draft bill Tuesday.
Mr. Johnson was required to seek a Brexit extension to Jan. 31 when he failed to get a deal through Parliament by Oct. 19 and the EU is due to give its formal response Friday morning.