Further to my post this morning on whether No Deal will win by time-out, and the inability of a no-confidence vote to stop the government putting in a Statutory Instrument to delay Brexit, another option is a direct Parliamentary vote for an early election, which requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament. But I’m not sure the ERG could get the numbers for that. With 650 MPs they’d need to get 417 votes. Supposing all of Labour, the SNP, and the Lib Dems voted for it, and some but not all of the Independents and minor parties, they’d still need around 120 Conservative and DUP MPs to vote for it, and that seems unlikely.
Another problem is that according to this Parliamentary source (see p. 9), after such a vote passes, the Queen must set a date for the election, and Parliament is dissolved 25 days before that date. But I don’t know what decides when and how the Queen makes a date. If she takes a few days to make a decision – no doubt having her arm twisted by the government – then that gives May the opportunity to get the delay SI through. Or if the date is set more than 25 days in advance, that gives Parliament a few more days to vote the SI through before Parliament is dissolved.
Continuing to legislate on important matters of state after an early election has been called is, of course, hardly in the spirit of Parliament, but unfortunately the spirit of Parliament is now dead.
So this move is not really a solution.