The citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) go to the polls for early parliamentary elections on 12 December. They must put an end to the Brexit stalemate that paralyzes British politics.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson was unable to get a new retirement agreement through parliament
- October 31 expired as Brexit date; Johnson forced to request an extension from the EU
- EU granted ‘flexible delay’: new deadline is 31 January 2020, but the UK may also retire earlier
- The Johnson government called for elections on December 12
- The lower house agreed on Tuesday evening, with 438 votes in favor and 20 against
The elections were voted on Tuesday evening in the Lower House. 438 parliamentarians voted for elections on December 12, 20 voted against.
The motion for new elections also has to be approved by the House of Lords. This is a formality in this case, although the Lords could theoretically throw a spanner in the works by delaying the handling of the law.
According to current planning, the parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday 6 November. The political parties then have five weeks for the election campaign. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the party leader of the Conservative Party, said in response to the vote that the government will set out its plans for the coming period on Wednesday.
Elections in the UK usually take place in May or June. The last elections that were held in December were those of 1923.
The largest opposition party, Labor, initially stopped the boat and abstained from voting last Monday evening. Prime Minister Johnson therefore failed to complete the two-thirds majority required for election election.
The government announced Tuesday that it would follow a plan of the smaller opposition parties Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) and Scottish National Party (SNP). Through a simple change to the electoral law, a two-thirds majority was no longer needed, but a simple majority was sufficient.
Whether that move was ultimately needed remained unanswered. Labor decided later on the same day to get over its own objections and to support elections in December. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said he had received guarantees from Brussels that a no-deal Brexit was excluded on October 31. He promised the “ambitious and radical campaign” the country has ever seen.