[Opinion] UK general election will put an end to a long period of turmoil

Original Source

Whether to stay in the European Union (EU) or to leave it. I hope that the British people will finally put an end to this turmoil with the election.

The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly (438-20) to have a general election on December 12th. This means they will be able to avoid the no-deal Brexit that was set to occur at the end of October.

Whether or not to leave the EU with a new Brexit deal will be the main focus of the election. The Conservative Party, which is in power at the moment, and the largest opposition party, the Labor Party, are at odds on this issue. It appears the pro and anti-Brexit factions will de facto determine the election.

The United Kingdom Parliament has been unable to reach an agreement on a specific Brexit plan even three years and four months after the 2016 referendum on this issue. Once it was agreed on to hold the general election, Prime Minister Johnson says that "now is the time to unify Britain and make Brexit a reality."

Even though Mr. Johnson entered office willing to go through with a no-deal Brexit, he made a sudden about-face on the 17th and assembled a new Brexit plan with the EU. However, many members of the opposition Party were opposed to it and demanded that the Prime Minister request an extension from the EU.

Having successfully assembled a new Brexit plan, the Prime Minister intends to break the deadlock of having a minority government by having a general election. If they win and then get it through Parliament, that would open the path to even completing Brexit in 2019.

In recent opinion polls, Mr. Johnson's Conservative Party holds a superior position over the Labor Party with a 10-15 point. However, the Brexit Party, advocates of a hard Brexit, is gaining ground, and thus the lead that the Conservatives posses cannot be said to be rock solid.

The opposition Labor Party lacks cohesion. Party leader Corbin states that he has an "ambitious" electoral strategy under the banner of the Remain side. If they will in the general election they will once again hold a general referendum on Brexit. However, two years ago the same party made a public commitment to Brexit. Even now, the party still grapples with soft Brexiters who say that as long as the UK remains in the EU customs union, Brexit won't be a problem.

If the general election in December results in the decision to leave the EU, the United Kingdom will have to immediately grapple with the next big problem. They have begun negotiations with the EU with regards to a free trade agreement for a transition period to smooth out the Brexit process.

The British government intends to also conclude free trade agreements with other countries such as Japan and America. It paints the picture of a "Global Britain" which will have many economic opportunities even outside Europe.

If the UK leaves the EU, Japan should quickly conclude a free trade agreement with the UK and include the UK in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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