UK prepares for Brexmas and a general election

Thursday 07th November 2019 05:04 EST

Parliament just voted to have a Christmas time general election that is potentially going to be a referendum on Brexit. The UK will now try to break the Brexit deadlock with a general election.

After Brexit was delayed a third time, the UK Parliament voted to hold an election on December 12 — a little more than a month before the new Brexit deadline of January 31, 2020.

But this is a third general election since 2015. This has plunged the already divided country into further confusion and chaos with Labour, Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Nigel Farrage's Brexit Party promising different versions of either getting Brexit done or conducting a second referendum.

Jeremy Corbyn has said that his plan to get a better deal and then put it to the public in another referendum was "clear and simple". He said a deadline to hold the vote next summer was "realistic and doable". But the Tories said Labour's plan would result in "paralysing uncertainty".

Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit planning, said a majority Conservative government would "absolutely not" extend the transition period after the UK's departure from the EU - under Mr Johnson's deal it is due to end at the start of 2021.

In the meantime, in a speech at the Liberal Democrats' campaign launch, Party leader Jo Swinson has said she could do "a better job" than either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. The Lib Dems currently have 20 MPs - out of a possible 650 - and they are especially hopeful of gaining seats in London and south-west England, but they would need a dramatic shift in the electoral landscape if they were to win a majority.

The political parties are ramping up their election campaigning, ahead of the official start to the five-week campaign period at just after midnight on Wednesday.

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