The Liberal Democrats will not support any parliamentary vote for a general election, should Boris Johnson request a snap poll when Parliament resumes.
Tom Brake told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer it would be another way for the government to “run down the clock”.
“We’re in the middle of a crisis, a Brexit crisis, and the idea that embarking on a five-week election campaign would do anything to resolve that is for the birds,” he said.
“It’s simply a delaying tactic on the part of the Prime Minister whose own adviser Dominic Cummings has described the negotiations that the government are apparently embarked on as a sham.”
On Monday the Prime Minister said “I don't want an election, you don't want an election”, however moments later a senior government source said any bid to “wreck” the UK’s negotiating position would trigger a motion for a snap poll.
This would require the support of two-thirds of Parliament.
Mr Brake said the Liberal Democrats are confident they would do well in a national vote; however it is the wrong outcome for the country.
“The polls are very positive for the Lib Dems at the moment and in normal circumstances of course we would absolutely welcome a chance to test that at the polls. But the fact is that this is a trap designed to force the country out of the European Union without a deal,” he said.