UK law­mak­ers back De­cem­ber 12 elec­tion

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - JILL LAW­LESS AND DAN­ICA KIRKA

LON­DON — Bri­tons will be head­ing out to vote in the dark days of De­cem­ber af­ter the House of Com­mons on Tues­day backed an early na­tional vote that could break the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal im­passe over Brexit — or turn out to be merely a tem­po­rary dis­trac­tion.

Prime Min­is­ter Boris Johnson hopes that elect­ing a new crop of law­mak­ers will pro­vide a so­lu­tion to the dead­lock that has stalled the U.K.’s de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union.

The House of Com­mons voted 428-20 — with dozens of law­mak­ers ab­stain­ing — for a bill au­tho­riz­ing an elec­tion on Dec. 12.

It will be­come law once it is ap­proved Wed­nes­day by the un­elected House of Lords, which does not have the power to over­rule the elected Com­mons.

Johnson is push­ing for an elec­tion in hopes of break­ing the par­lia­men­tary stale­mate that blocked his plan to take Bri­tain out of the Euro­pean Union this month.

This week the EU granted Bri­tain a three-month Brexit ex­ten­sion un­til Jan. 31.

Johnson is gam­bling that an elec­tion will give his Con­ser­va­tive Party a ma­jor­ity.

But af­ter three years of in­con­clu­sive po­lit­i­cal wran­gling over Brexit, Bri­tish vot­ers are weary and the re­sults of an elec­tion are hard to pre­dict. Johnson — who has had to aban­don his vow to lead Bri­tain out of the EU on Oct. 31 “do or die” — ac­cused his op­po­nents of want­ing to pro­long the Brexit process “un­til the 12th of never.”

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