Brexit in January or second referendum: the UK election choice
10 December, 2019, 5:07 pm
LONDON (Reuters) – The Dec. 12 election will decide whether the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in January or moves toward another EU referendum.
Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit on Jan. 31. Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised a referendum.
Results are due in the early hours of Dec. 13. Here are the most likely scenarios:
JOHNSON WINS MAJORITY, BREXIT IN JANUARY
– Johnson wins a majority of 326 seats or more. The threshold could be slightly lower depending on how smaller parties perform.
– This will enable Johnson to pass the Brexit deal he negotiated with Brussels earlier this year through parliament and Britain will leave the EU at the end of January.
– Once Britain has left the bloc, it enters a transition period during which much of the status quo of its relationship with the EU is maintained. This period is due to last until the end of December 2020.
– This period will be used to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU that will define the relationship between the world’s fifth largest economy and its largest trading partner.
– Johnson says he will not extend the transition period. Some fear this could mean that it ends without a deal, abruptly severing trading arrangements.
– The Conservatives have promised a budget in February, to introduce a new immigration system and begin higher spending on infrastructure, financed by increased borrowing.