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General election looms as Brexit delayed

The House of Commons is moving towards a December general election

 

By Anthony Neeson

Halloween will come and go this week with the UK remaining in the European Union…for now.

And before Christmas it looks as if UK voters will go to the polls in a general election.

MPs were debating plans for an election in the House of Commons today.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a vote on December 12.

Regarding Brexit, Johnson has said that he would rather die in a ditch than stay in the EU beyond October 31.

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However, with the House of Commons deadlocked over his deal with the European Union he was forced to write a letter asking for a delay to Brexit. On Monday, the EU agreed to a “flextension” until January 31.

With the parties at Westminster mulling the December general election, DUP MP Sammy Wilson told the House of Commons that the unionist electorate do not fear an election before the end of the year.

“In fact the unionist electorate are angry, so despairing and so bewildered at the way in which the prime minister has broken his promises to Northern Ireland that they would return one hundred DUP MPs,” he said.

With eighteen Westminster constituencies in Northern Ireland the DUP returned after the 2017 general election with ten MPs and found themselves propping up the Conservative government - this until Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the EU.

Johnson now hopes that he will be returned to the Commons with an increased majority after campaigning as the only politician capable of "getting Brexit done.”

On Monday, Mr. Johnson told parliament that his deal was “excellent” and that all MPs should support it.

Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill criticized the DUP’s “confidence and supply” deal with the Conservatives.

“The toxic DUP pact with the Tories at Westminster achieved nothing for the people here other than the continuing threat of being dragged out of the EU and into a nightmare which they have not consented to and ongoing Tory cuts to public services,” she said.

The Ulster Unionist Party’s new leader, Steve Aiken, has promised that in the event of a general election his party will stand candidates in all 18 constituencies.

Last time out the party did not contest North Belfast giving the DUP’s Nigel Dodds a free run again Sinn Féin.

If the UUP stands this time around Dodds will be in danger of losing his seat to Sinn Féin’s John Finucane, who he defeated by just over 2,000 votes two years ago.

 

 

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