British Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to meet his first Brexit deadline of Oct. 31, despite his “do or die” pledge.
Brexit, or “British exit,” began as a referendum that proposed the termination of the free roam and trade relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union that began in 1973. In mid-2016, British citizens voted to leave the EU, and former Prime Minister Theresa May and Parliament attempted to create a separation deal with no success. Now in its third year, the Brexit dilemma led to the resignation of May, and the responsibility has fallen to Johnson, who was elected to the position of prime minister in July 2019.
Johnson has faced criticism from within his own Conservative Party and does not currently possess a majority in Parliament. These two factors, combined with the lack of a separation deal with the EU, resulted in Brexit being delayed once again, this time until Jan. 31, 2020.
The EU agreed to a “flextension” for Brexit. The “flextension” would allow for the UK to leave the EU earlier than the deadline of Jan. 31 on either Dec. 1 or Jan. 1. The second “flextension” deadline is approximately one month after premature general election in the UK, which is set to take place on Dec. 12. This special early election was proposed by Johnson in an attempt to reclaim a majority in Parliament.
The Prime Minister has already begun his campaign trail for the Dec. 12 general elections, but critics doubt his ability to strike a separation deal with the EU. Johnson also faces criticism for his plan to establish a border between the UK and Northern Ireland, a region that has been affected by a fragile political climate and could be further damaged by Brexit.
Johnson, however, said he believes Brexit and the UK-Northern Ireland border will allow the UK “to take back control of [their] money, [their] borders and [their] laws. But also, it allows [the UK] to have full unfettered control of [their] tariff schedules.”
Experts believe a no-deal Brexit would lead to detrimental effects on the economic and political climate of the UK, despite Johnson’s insistence that it may be beneficial for the country.
The Labour Party stands as the biggest opposition to the Conservative Party and Johnson’s potential majority in the upcoming election. The Labour Party announced they will be prepared to propose another referendum to allow voters to re-vote on leaving or remaining in the EU.
The Labour Party hopes to maintain a relationship with the EU that will be mutually beneficial and sustainable in the long run, according to The New York Times. Despite the Labour Party’s willingness to negotiate Brexit depending on the outcome of the proposed referendum, some believe Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party and the likely replacement for Johnson if the Labour Party wins a majority in December, is unfit to hold the position.
“I can’t really believe it’s come to this, but I think I need to tell people that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t fit to lead the Labour Party,” Ian Austin—who was the advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown—said, according to The New York Times. “He’s certainly not fit to lead the country.”
Austin left the Labour Party in 2019 after accusing Corbyn and other Labour Party leaders of associating with enemies of Britain, including the Irish Republican Army, Hamas and Hezbollah. He also claims many members of the Labour Party express anti-Semitic sentiments but that Corbyn neglects to stop these conversations.