Brexit update: can the UK General Election of 12 December 2019 lead to a Brexit extension to 2030?

Visit of Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, to the EC
Date: 17/10/2019. Location: Belgium, Brussels – EC/Berlaymont. © European Union, 2019
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service. Photographer: Lejeune Xavier

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are debating ahead of the general elections in the UK which will be held on December 12th, 2019. The polls show a clear advantage of the conservative party with Tories’ leader to offer a way out of the EU. UK business trembles about how things will evolve and is most likely going to support Boris Johnson’s quick divorce instead of Corbyn’s socialist and vague agenda.

On the other hand, the EU’s Director-General for Trade stressed that there is not enough time whatsoever for the UK Prime Minister to secure a beneficial deal.

What remains to be seen though is whether Boris Johnson will receive the majority in order to ensure that the UK Parliament will vote in favour of his agreement avoiding another tragic Brexit deadlock.

General election polls

According to an opinion poll published by YouGov yesterday, where 1,606 people were surveyed online between November 18-19, conservatives stand at 42% while Labour account for 30% of the British electorate. This poll provides a clear lead to the Tories’ leader but this could naturally alter in three weeks’ time. In addition, the Liberal Democrats are at 15% and the Brexit Party at a very slim 4%.

Brexit is indeed the biggest issue bothering the UK voters at the moment but surely the NHS, environment and climate change are the next in line according to an Ipsos Mori survey. Thus, political leaders should not only focus their campaigns on Brexit but topics such as crime, environment and health care should also be addressed.

Business summit

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference held two days ago in London. Boris Johnson participated and expressed his plans to cut corporation rates from 19% to 17% in 2020 supporting also that it was more beneficial to spend money on the NHS and other public services. On the contrary, Corbyn promised that he would invest billions in the nation’s infrastructure, education and skills training.

However, the business leaders mentioned that neither Johnson nor Corbyn were among their choices but seem to favour the Tory leader as the smallest threat. More specifically, the Brexit plan of Boris Johnson has “holes” in it but is rather preferred compared to the anachronistic economic policies of the Labour leader who promotes the nationalisation of the railways, water companies, the electricity grid and Royal Mail Plc. It looks as if Corbyn doesn’t follow the world’s flow.

What is more, Nicola Stopps, Chief Executive Officer of corporate social responsibility consultants Simply Sustainable, stated that she plans to support the Tories in the election regardless of having voted previously to remain in the EU. Richard Clarke, Commercial Director of O’Donovan Waste Disposals, a London-based construction and demolition waste company, said that “the Conservatives are more pro-enterprise and he disagreed with Labour’s policy of holding another Brexit referendum.”

EU against Boris

The incumbent UK Prime Minister insists that Britain will leave the EU in January 2020 and has time to secure a comprehensive free trade deal by the end of the transition period in December 2020.

On the other side of the Channel though, the European Union’s trade chief pointed out that there is not enough time to ensure a proper UK exit from the Old Continent. In detail, Sabine Weyand said that: “there was only time to negotiate a bare-bones deal with the UK next year, as the transition period will give negotiators less than 12 months of talks… The other alternative is a no-deal Brexit exit at the end of the transition period.” Moreover, CBI boss Carolyn Fairbairn expressed similar to the EU senior official concerns about the lack of time to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU before the end of 2020.

UK elections vs. Brexit deal

December 13 will be another crucial date not only for the UK but also for the EU. The outcome of the elections is most likely going to affect the Brexit deal that Britain will agree with the bloc. Boris Johnson might need a bigger lead though in order to be sure to win the majority of the MPs. However, the Brexit deal brought by the UK government has not been evaluated regarding its effect to the economy and is not expected to be either.

All in all, the divorce deal that the UK will sign with the EU needs to be evaluated properly and adequate time should be provided for further negotiations in order to secure a beneficial deal for both sides. It seems that the UK voters have to consider wisely all the above parameters and choose the best choice for their country thinking that a fast or no-deal Brexit would be devastating for both the EU and UK economies.

It is the same voters who were fooled by David Cameron in 2013 who played the entire fate of his country in the casino’s roulette in order to maximise his odds to win the then upcoming general election. Again, it is the same electorate who was fooled by Nigel Farage who won the referendum and hurrayed under the Big Ben but stepped down at the very same moment, closed down UKIP and now formed the Brexit Party.

It is rather time that the deeply rooted conservative and exceptionalist UK voter mans up and makes the wisest choice this December for the good of her great nation, isn’t it?

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