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June 12, 2021
According to The New York Times, Boris Johnson, the newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, called for a general election Tuesday regarding one of the nation’s biggest peace-time challenges since World War II – Brexit. This announcement came almost immediately after parliament voted Tuesday against the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union (EU) without a formal agreement, resulting in Johnson’s first ever loss of vote as British Prime Minister. The vote, which concluded with a 328 to 301 tally, will prompt a legislative vote by Parliament as soon as Wednesday that would most likely stop a no-deal Brexit. ~
Just a month after becoming the next British Prime Minister and promising to carry out Brexit by the October 31 deadline regardless if a withdrawal agreement with the EU is met, Mr. Johnson has found himself in a similar political situation regarding Brexit as his two immediate predecessors – David Cameron and Theresa May – who both resigned due to the highly controversial British withdraw from the European Union in 2016. Since Mr. Johnson has been Prime Minister, there has been little substantial progress pertaining to the Brexit fiasco. Tuesday’s events, however, suggest that Parliament may have the numbers to succeed in blocking Britain’s withdraw from the European Union without a deal – possibly initiating a push for future negotiations for a formal exit agreement between Britain and the EU. ~
Following defeat Tuesday, Mr. Johnson’s aides stated that they would seek a general election on October 14, two weeks before the Brexit deadline of October 31. Parliament, however, would have to agree for such an election to take place, and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he would only agree to an election “only after Parliament passed the legislation barring the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.” (The New York Times, 2019). Opponents of a no-deal Brexit argue the catastrophes such an exit could have on the British economy. Prime Minister Johnson, on the other hand, says that it is crucial to keep the no-deal option on the trading table to give hum leverage at the next United Nations meeting in Brussels later next month. ~
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