UK: Labour Party announces support for general election


Britain’s main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that his party will back a general election in December, which is being proposed by the government.

In a statement by the Labour Party, Corbyn said his party is “ready for an election and our support is subject to no-deal Brexit being off the table.”

“We have now heard from the EU that the extension of article 50 to 31st January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met,” he said.

Corbyn’s announcement came hours before a parliament vote on a government bill that legislates early general election on Dec. 12.

A motion on the proposed election was voted yesterday at the House of Commons but Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to receive enough number of votes for the motion and introduced the election bill.

The vote on a bill needs 320 votes to reach simple majority at the House.

“We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen,” Corbyn said.

Two other opposition parties, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party (SNP), have said they would back the idea of an early election if it is to be held on Dec. 9, before schools in the U.K. break for Christmas so students can vote.

The amendable bill will be put to vote on Tuesday after a debate by the lawmakers.

The U.K. was set to leave the EU on Oct. 31 but a new extension granted by the bloc has furthered the deadline to Jan. 31, 2020. The “flextension” can be cut short if Britain can ratify the revised deal of Johnson on a date earlier than the deadline.

Johnson, who had insisted that the U.K. would leave the EU on Oct. 31, had to ask for an extension after failing in a vote that would fast-track the legislation of his deal last week.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill passed the first stage of legislative process last week but the process was paused by Johnson when he failed to receive approval on a timetable to make it law before the deadline of Oct. 31.

The UK decided to leave the union in a 2016 referendum.
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