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This week the European Council granted a flexible extension of Brexit deadline. The UK will have time until January 31, 2020 to find a deal, vote it, and leave the EU.
Less than two weeks ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson managed to negotiate his own deal for leaving the European Union. Yet, he had to convince a parliamentary majority to back the deal in order to deliver Brexit by October 31 “no ifs, no buts”.
Precisely because of the opposition of Westminster it was necessary to seek another extension (a “flextension”, more precisely) for Brexit: MPs voted against the Government’s will, forcing the Prime Minister to request a delay to the EU. Johnson requested the extension, remarking nevertheless his opposition to it. A few days later, on October 29, the British Parliament voted a bill to hold snap elections next December 12.
With the new elections scheduled, Johnson has also restored the Conservative’s whip for 10 out of the 21 MPs whom, after casting a vote against the government compromising its parliamentary majority, had been expelled from the party.
Now formally begins an electoral campaign that will revolve, again, around Brexit. On the one hand, the Conservatives will try to resist their party erosion from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party sticking with Boris Johnson’s hard line on leaving the EU. On the other, the Labour Party is calling for a second referendum, trying not to let the Liberal Democrats steal the scene from them. LibDems, indeed, are constructing part of their political identity by fiercely opposing leaving the EU – trying to move on after the controversial experience they had during the coalition government led by David Cameron.
Labour MEPs' leader at the European Parliament declared how any decision on the future of the United Kingdon will need to sift through another referendum.
Boris Johnson instead insisted with his Brexiteer narrative, stressing how the UK is close to “get Brexit done” and “move on”.