Five things you need to know today: opposition to hold no-confidence summit, PM sticks to exit date

Plus Austria elects, Elon Musk unveils a new spaceship and Nigel Farage still wants a seat. 

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Labour, Lib Dems and SNP meeting today to discuss no-confidence vote

Opposition parties will meet in Westminster today to discuss plans for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s government. A vote of no confidence, if successful, would lead to the installation of a temporary government, which would exist solely to seek an extension to the negotiating period before triggering a general election. While all three parties see the strategy as crucial to avoiding a no-deal Brexit, the question of who would take the role of caretaker Prime Minister is a sticking point. Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “open-minded” about the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming a caretaker PM, but the Liberal Democrats will argue for another MP, such as Kenneth Clarke or Harriet Harman, to fill the role.

PM set on no deal

Boris Johnson has reiterated that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 regardless of whether the country has a withdrawal agreement and in spite of the Benn Act, which mandates the government to seek a three-month extension to the negotiating period if it does not have a deal by 19 October. The Prime Minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday that he would not resign if he failed to secure a deal.

Kurz to return as Austrian chancellor

Following a snap election yesterday, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz will return to power as Austria’s Chancellor, according to exit polls released last night. Kurz served as Chancellor from the end of 2017 until May of this year, when the government he had formed in coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) collapsed following accusations of corruption. Kurz’s centre-right People’s Party won an estimated 37 per cent of the vote, with the country’s Social Democrats winning 22 per cent, the far-right FPO 16 per cent and the Greens 14 per cent. Kurz will therefore need wither to form a coalition either with the Greens, or return to partnership with the FPO, in order to form a majority government.

Farage to make eighth attempt at becoming MP

The leader of the Brexit Party and MEP for South East England, Nigel Farage, has confirmed that he will stand as an MP in the next general election. Farage has made seven previous attempts to win a seat in the House of Commons, and narrowly lost to the Conservative Craig McKinley in 2015.

Musk says Starship could be in orbit within six months

The founder of private space exploration company SpaceX, Elon Musk, unveiled a prototype spacecraft on Saturday which he claimed could be in orbit within six months and on a manned mission to Mars within five years. Musk claimed his company’s Starship will “make space travel like air travel” and help humanity to become “a multiplanetary species”. The 162-foot-high, stainless-steel spaceship is perhaps the most impressive-looking vehicle in the world, but it remains unclear to what extent the craft’s internal systems have been completed.

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