The Latest: Boris Johnson to ask for UK election on Dec. 12

LONDON — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to ask Parliament to approve an early national election to be held on Dec. 12. Johnson says it’s the only way to break Britain’s Brexit impasse.

Britain’s next scheduled election is not until 2022. To call one early, Johnson needs to win a vote in Parliament. He has tried twice before and lost.

Johnson says the Dec. 12 date will give lawmakers time before the election to scrutinize his Brexit bill. Under his plan, Parliament would remain working until Nov. 6, when campaigning would start.


12:30 p.m.

The incoming president of the European Commission says she would ask London to appoint and send a commissioner to Brussels if Britain is granted a Brexit extension beyond the Oct. 31 deadline.

Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Helsinki on Thursday that if Britain gets an extension and remains in the European Union after the end of the month, “then, of course, I would ask UK to send a commissioner” to Brussels.

Speaking in a joint news conference with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, von der Leyen said the prospects of granting London a Brexit extension looked “very good” but noted the length of it remained unclear.

Rinne, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, says a large majority —”maybe all countries” — were backing granting an extension.


10:00 a.m.

The head of the police service in Northern Ireland has warned that any Brexit deal seen to threaten the United Kingdom could lead to disorder.

Simon Byrne told the BBC on Wednesday that there was potential for unrest among communities who consider themselves loyal to the U.K.

Byrne says the “loyalist community has at times shown it can mobilize quickly, bring large numbers of people on to the streets and engage in public disorder in support of their cause.”

The Democratic Unionist Party has vociferously objected to elements in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal. They fear that proposals which treat Northern Ireland differently will bolster economic ties to the Republic of Ireland.

The Associated Press