The Latest: UK lawmakers approve early election on Dec 12


Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to lawmakers during an election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain’s Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have an early General Election. (House of Commons via AP)

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LONDON (AP) — The Latest on British politics and Brexit (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Britain is set to hold an early election on Dec. 12, after a bill authorizing the vote was passed by the House of Commons.

Lawmakers voted 438-20 in favor of the bill to give Prime Minister Boris Johnson the early election he craves.

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

Johnson hopes the election will give his Conservative Party a majority so he can pass his Brexit deal and take Britain out of the European Union.

But after three years of inconclusive political wrangling over Brexit, voters are weary and the results of an election hard to predict.


8 p.m.

British lawmakers have voted against changing the date of a proposed early election to Dec. 9, sticking with the government’s choice of Dec. 12.

The House of Commons voted by 315-295 against an amendment by the opposition Labour Party calling for an earlier vote. Labour argued that the earlier date would make it easier for college and university students to vote where they go to school.

Legislators will now vote on whether to approve the government’s call for an election. If it passes, Britons will be headed into their first December election in almost a century.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes an election will shake up the composition of Parliament and break the U.K.’s political deadlock over Brexit.


5:50 p.m.

British lawmakers have approved in principle a bill authorizing an early election in December, clearing its first parliamentary hurdle – though it still faces a wrangle over the exact date.

The House of Commons sent the bill calling for a Dec. 12 election past the stage known as second reading without a formal vote.

That means it will now face further debate and an attempt by opposition lawmakers to move the date.

Opposition lawmakers want a Dec. 9 election, partly out of from concern university students could have gone home for the winter holidays if it is held later.

Other amendments, which sought to extend the vote to 16- and 17-year-old and EU citizens, weren’t selected for a vote.

The bill is likely to be passed by the House of Commons on Tuesday evening and once the House of Lords has signed off on it, Britain will be heading into its first December election since 1923.


4:50 p.m.

The European Council president says the Brexit extension granted to Britain might be the last one.

A day after he announced that the European Union agreed to delay Britain’s exit from the 28-nation bloc up to Jan. 31, Donald Tusk said in a message to his “British friends” posted on Twitter on Tuesday that the extension “may be the last one. Please make the best use of this time.”

EU leaders have gathered several times to discuss new deadlines for Brexit, whose initial March 29 date has been pushed back three times.


11:50 a.m.

U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says “we’re going out there to win” in the early election that Britain is now likely to hold in December.

Corbyn told cheering supporters that main opposition Labour Party had dropped its opposition to an early election after the European Union had granted a three-month delay to Britain’s departure from the bloc. Britain is now scheduled to leave the EU on Jan. 31.

He says Tuesday that “we’re now going to be out on the streets for about six weeks and I’ve just had a weather forecast, and it’s going to be good weather.”

However, the election and its exact date hinges on votes being held later Tuesday in Parliament, which may come up with another date all together. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservatives want to have an election on Dec. 12.


11:40 a.m.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says “we’re going out there to win” in the early election now likely to take place in December.

The opposition party leader told fellow lawmakers Tuesday that he’ll back an early election for Britain now that the prospect of crashing out of the European Union without a deal has been taken off the table.

Corbyn’s move all but guarantees that the country will face its first December election since 1923.

He spoke only hours before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to once again ask lawmakers to approve an early election, saying voters must have the chance to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament.

In an effort to blunt opposition to an early vote, the government said Monday it would delay further consideration of the EU divorce deal until after the election. The government wants a Dec. 12 election.


11 a.m.

The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party has told fellow lawmakers that he’ll back an early election now that the prospect that the country could crash out of the European Union without a deal has been taken off the table.

Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks Tuesday come only hours before Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to once again ask lawmakers to approve an early election — on Dec. 12 — saying voters must have the chance to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament. 

Corbyn’s comments come as other opposition parties, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party, had proposed an even earlier election date of Dec. 9 in hopes that there wouldn’t be enough time for Johnson’s government to push through its Brexit bill before Parliament is suspended ahead of the election.

They did not want Johnson to campaign on his crowning achievement of having gotten the country out of the 28-nation bloc.


9 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is asking Parliament — for a fourth time — to approve an early election after lawmakers rejected his latest bid to secure a vote in hope of breaking the agonizing political deadlock over Brexit.

Legislators are being asked to vote Tuesday on a short bill calling an election on Dec. 12. The legislation requires a simple majority to be passed.

An earlier proposal was made under a different procedure that required a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons. It failed to hit that mark Monday — Johnson’s third such defeat.

To win support from opposition parties, Johnson shelved his contentious EU withdrawal agreement until after the election.

Opposition parties have not said whether they will back the election call.


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