Brexit Bulletin: What does the general election result mean for Brexit?

Brexit Bulletin: What does the general election result mean for Brexit?

 

The UK general election on 12 December 2019 returned a significant win for the Conservative Party—their largest since the 1980s. The primary objective of calling the early general election was to break the parliamentary deadlock on Brexit, which the government’s new majority is certain to achieve, at least in the short term. This majority should enable the Prime Minister to get the Withdrawal Agreement ratified and achieve the UK’s withdrawal from the EU by deadline of 31 January 2020, but what happens next? EU leaders have cautiously welcomed the result, calling for Parliament to move swiftly to approve and ratify the Withdrawal Agreement so that the UK and EU can move into the next phase of Brexit negotiations, focussing on the future relationship. In this analysis, Kieran Laird, partner and head of constitutional affairs in the Gowling WLG Brexit Unit, Richard Eccles, partner at Bird & Bird, Nick Wrightson, senior associate and Sarah Burton, associate at Kingsley Napley, and Adam Cygan, Professor of Law at the University of Leicester, discuss the general election result and its implications for Brexit.

The 2019 general election returned the Conservative Party to government with a parliamentary majority of 80 seats. Citing the result as an ‘overwhelming mandate’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeated his pledge to ‘get Brexit done on time, by 31 January, no ifs, no buts’. Here is a reminder of the results:

Party / Seats won

Conservative Party – 365

Labour Party – 203

SNP – 48

Liberal Democrats – 11

DUP – 8

Sinn Féin – 7

Plaid Cymru – 4

SDLP – 2

Green Party – 1

Alliance – 1

 

Reactions at the EU summit

 

While the election was taking place, EU27 leaders convened for the December European Council. The Prime Minister did not attend the summit, which focussed primarily on climate change.

EU leaders cautiously welcomed the election result, calling for Parliament to move swiftly to approve and ratify the Withdrawal Agreement so that the UK and EU can move into the next phase of Brexit negotiations, focussing

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About the author:
Holly joined LexisNexis in July 2014 and works primarily on the PSL Public Law module. Holly read law at university and qualified as a solicitor in private practice. Before starting her legal career, she gained experience working in local government and spent a year studying politics. Prior to joining LexisNexis, Holly worked in the Global Technology and Sourcing team at BP, supporting a variety of global procurement and compliance projects. Upon joining LexisPSL, she worked in the Commercial and LexisAsk teams before assisting with the development and launch of the PSL Public Law module. Holly looks after a number of core public law subject areas, including Brexit.