British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will probably win the Dec. 12 election with a small majority but the campaign has so far been uninspiring with a host of unrealistic promises on both sides, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said on Tuesday///CRIMSON TAZVINZWA
This is a complicated election, and the Conservative poll lead obscures a fragile national picture
After a few weeks of stagnant polls, the gap between Labour and the Conservatives had begun to very gently close. But in the middle of last week all hell broke loose when the Brexit Party stood down in more than half the seats in the country, and once the dust had settled, and some candidates had unilaterally pulled their nominations, the Brexit Party was standing in 274 seats. That’s fewer than Nigel Farage originally promised, with the Brexit Party not just avoiding the seats the Tories won in 2017, but also a number in the very Remain-voting Scotland.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage shelves plans to contest more than 600 seats in the 12 December 2019 General Election. Mr Farage told supporters at a rally in Hartlepool that the Brexit Party will not field 600 candidates as earlier planned; this effectively makes 317 hopeful candidates redundant; therefore cannot contest the 317 seats won by Tories in the 2017 election///CRIMSON TAZVINZWA
The Brexit Party leader said that the decision was not easy but he will not contest any of the seats won by Conservatives at the last election.
It will come as a relief to many of the Tory candidates, but some of the former Brexit Party hopefuls have voiced their disappointment.
The Brexit Party is less than a year old and does not have any MPs – but it was the clear winner in the UK’s European elections in May, with more than 30% of the vote.
Caroline Coram, who hoped to represent Sleaford and North Hykeham for the Brexit Party, will now stand as an independent candidate.
She told Lincolnshire Reporter: “My priority right now is for the people that this announcement is letting down.
“If we step back completely then we are letting them down, so
The ambassadors of the EU27 decided to postpone a final decision on a potential extension of the Brexit negotiations until next week on Friday (25 October) following Boris Johnson’s calls for an early election.
“We have had an excellent discussion but no decision,” said EU chief negotiation Michel Barnier when leaving the Council building after meeting the ambassadors. “We still have time,” a diplomatic source said.
According to EU sources “there was full agreement on the need for an extension,” but for how long has still not been decided. An EU diplomat, however, said that the only proposal under discussion still is a delay until 31 January.
Johnson’s letter urging opposition leader Jeremy Corby to hold an early election in December and to ‘try to get Brexit done’ by early November is making the decision harder for the member states, as the House of Commons will only vote on the proposal on Monday.
The EU does not want to get involved in UK domestic politics. “If the problem is in London, the solution cannot be found in Brussels,” EU diplomat said last week. But Johnson is using the extension to justify the call for a vote.
“If the EU offers the delay the Parliament has requested,” UK prime minister said in reference to the so-called Ben Act, “then it is clear that there must be an election.”
France has openly opposed a long extension without a specific reason, such as a new election or referendum, and has called for more clarity from the UK side on its intentions. Emmanuel Macron’s minister for EU affairs Amélie de Montchalin said on Tuesday (22 October) that the country would prefer a short technical extension of a few days.
No summit foreseen
Ambassadors will meet again early next week, “either Monday or Tuesday,” to continue the discussion, only a few days before 31 October, officially still the date when the UK is set to leave the EU.
The situation in the UK is “very volatile,” a diplomatic source explained and in order to make decision ambassadors need “all the elements.” Discussions will continue over the weekend with the aim of figuring out “what is more convenient for Europe so that the agreement can get over the line.”
In spite of the uncertainty, whatever the decision, it will be taken by written procedure. President Donald Tusk “has no intention to convene a special European Council,” EU sources confirmed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday (24 October) abandoned his promise to take the UK out of the European Union at the end of October and instead set out new plans to force a general election on 12 December.
In Westminster, there is confusion on whether Johnson’s election motion will get the support of the almost 140 opposition MPs he needs to reach the two thirds majority needed to call an election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn continues to state that his party will back an election if the government formally rules out the prospect of a no deal Brexit.
The Scottish National Party, which is the third largest force in the House of Commons, on Friday called for an election on 5 December, and said that the election should serve as a proxy referendum on EU membership.
For their part, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, which opposes the Withdrawal Agreement struck by Johnson last week, has repeated its call to join forces with the Conservative party to ‘form an unstoppable Leave alliance, and get a proper, better Brexit done.’
‘The government has finally admitted what The Brexit Party has said all along: The Tories alone are powerless to deliver Brexit on October 31st,’ added Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice.,
Nigel Farage is mocked up to wear Steve Bray’s ‘stop Brexit’ hat after calling for another extension. Photograph: Chris Barker/Twitter.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has caused divisions in the Brexit Party – with some supporters criticising Nigel Farage for wanting an extension to avoid leaving on the prime minister’s terms.
Farage’s criticism of the deal is that it was “95% the same as Mrs May’s” and “the second worst deal in history”. Without a hint of irony he also accused the European Research Group faction of the Conservatives of “putting party before country”.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, he defended his demands for an extension to prolong the Brexit negotiations. He said: “I want a general election, so an extension for a few weeks into which we can have a general election is a much better outcome than signing up to a treaty that becomes part of international law that binds us in foreign policy and in many, many other areas.
“We are going to have to be on a level playing field with the rest of Europe which means we still haven’t taken back control of our laws – this is not Brexit,” he added.
“Its a new EU treaty, it binds us. All it does is take us on to the next stage of negotiations.”
But his comments have sparked fury from pro-Brexit supporters as well as those that support his Brexit Party organisation.
Jackie P, who now claims to be a ‘Boris Backer’, told him that he clearly doesn’t “want to leave”. She continued: “MEPs live a luxurious lifestyle it is easy to see the addictive nature of it. MEP like Sheffield for example!”
“I’m a fan Nigel, but I think it’s time to back this deal. No deal will never happen,” said Mike Elsworthy.
“I’m going right off you Nigel we need to b [sic] supporting Boris and get out of EU,” wrote John Cunningham.