Brexit and upcoming elections….

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The brexit enigma is still there. Both houses of UK Parliament have passed a bill to hold a general election on 12 December. It follows the confirmation of a Brexit delay until 31 January 2020 after the EU agreed to the UK’s extension request. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said previously that the UK would leave by 31 October mentioning it’s a do or die situation. He has agreed a deal with the EU but the bill implementing it has been put on hold. It will now not progress before the general election. The UK’s main parties are gearing up for a general election on 12 December. These national votes, to choose a government to run the country are supposed to be held every five years, but this would be the third since 2015. Nearly three and a half years after the UK voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum, it has not happened. Politicians are divided, some want the UK to leave the EU as soon as possible, some would prefer another referendum, and others to cancel Brexit altogether. Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn’t have enough MPs to easily pass new laws. He hopes an early election will increase the number of Conservative MPs, making his Brexit plans easier to achieve. The next general election was due to be in 2022 but Mr Johnson has been pressing for an early election for some weeks. Now opposition parties have moved to support an early election too, in the hope that they can win extra seats to push forward their own plans for the country. What happens next on Brexit would depend on the outcome of that election. One option is to implement the Brexit deal that Boris Johnson has negotiated with the EU.

A new version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would have to be introduced in the new Parliament and go back to the beginning of its passage through Parliament. The aim would be to get the bill completed in time for Brexit on 31 January. This is the Conservatives’ plan. The default position will be that if no deal is passed by Parliament, the UK will leave the EU without one on 31 January 2020. Leaving without a deal or withdrawal agreement means the UK would immediately exit the customs union and single market, arrangements designed to make trade easier. Many politicians and businesses say this would damage the economy. Others say the risks are exaggerated. The fate of Brexit could now be in the balance as the UK’s political parties gear up for a rare winter campaign – an election has not been held in December since 1923, to decide the country’s direction for generations to come. Johnson’s Conservatives have a solid advantage over Corbyn’s Labour Party in early opinion polls. But the British public is sharply divided over Brexit causing many voters and even some politicians to switch their allegiance to other parties. The pound is effectively trading flat as traders wait for campaigning to kick into high gear. That pressure of an imminent election happening whether Labour went for it or not may have ultimately swayed Corbyn. But not everyone in his party agrees an election is a good thing, as Conservatives lead Labour in many recent polls. One thing is now clear: It is all but certain that Brexit will not happen this year. Johnson has pledged not to bring his Withdrawal Agreement Bill back to the house if MPs back an election. And there would not be enough time after a December 12 poll to push through the legislation before Christmas. There is also the legal option of cancelling Brexit altogether by revoking Article 50. But clearly, this is not something the current government is contemplating so it’s only really possible to imagine this outcome after a change of government.

The Liberal Democrats have said that if they won a majority in the House of Commons they would revoke Article 50 to cancel Brexit. If they didn’t get a majority, they would support another referendum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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