British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally succeeded in securing an election for the 12th December 2019. The PM has been determined to push for an election now that the EU has granted a further three-month extension for his Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
Mr Johnson was forced to write to the EU to request a delay due to MP’s passing the Benn Act on the 19th October. The Benn Act (EU Withdrawal No.2 Act) requires the government to act to stop a No-Deal Brexit on 31st October.
On 28th October, the EU granted the UK’s request for a ‘flextension’ until 31st January, 2020.
If the PM’s deal is passed in Parliament then the UK can leave the EU before that date.
Johnson needs an election in the hope he can restore the Conservative Party’s majority in Parliament in order to get his deal through.
The 2017 snap election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party having won the most seats in the House of Commons with 317 Conservative MPs, but without an overall majority needed to govern (326 out of 650 seats).
The DUP, which won 10 seats in the election, suggested it would be able to provide a coalition or confidence-and-supply arrangement depending on negotiations. Downing Street announced that a final agreement between the DUP and the Conservatives would see Theresa May lead a minority Conservative government supported legislatively by the DUP.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, announced that:
“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of article 50 to 31 January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met.
We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”
On Tuesday 29th October Boris Johnson’s bill for a 12th December election was approved by 438 votes to 20 on Tuesday. It will now go to House of Lords for consideration – where it is unlikely to be opposed.
Sources and further reading:
The Benn Act
How Brexit Went So Wrong: A Crisis Of Leadership
Brexit: UK set for December general election as Corbyn lifts Labour opposition to bill – live news
Brexit: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says party to back general election — latest news
UK election date: which party wants what, and why does it matter?