We finally can start to make statements that are less equivocal following the Conservative Party’s success last night that has led to a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons, its biggest majority since 1987 and its highest share of the vote since 1979. The Labour Party’s experiment with a more socialist agenda appears to be shelved as it had its worse performance in an election since 1935. The leaders of both main opposition parties have resigned with one, Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, losing her parliamentary seat last night.
Earlier today, Boris Johnson was invited by the Queen to form a new government, which he has accepted. There will be a new Queen’s speech next week and the EU Withdrawal Agreement will be approved soon thereafter and the UK will start its exit from the EU on 31 January 2020. This exit will be subject to a 11 month transition period and the UK is currently scheduled to fully leave the EU on 31 December 2020 – just over a year from now.
Companies that rely on EU passports and EU access rights may continue to do so for the entirety of next year while a new trading relationship is negotiated between the UK and the EU. The content and progress of those negotiations will no doubt be the subject to our blog posts throughout 2020. We have no reason to believe that a new relationship with the EU will not be agreed. In fact, it is the opposite. While it will be challenging to see meet the aggressive timetable that has been set, it is very likely that a new trading relationship will be agreed and implemented in due course.
The results of yesterday’s election have fundamentally changed Britain’s politics. The first implication is that there will not be another general election for a number of years – currently pencilled in for December 2024. The size of Boris Johnson’s majority gives him many options and leaves him free to push forward his legislative agenda, a project that will start in earnest on Monday. For a reminder of the Conservative Party manifesto and its legislative agenda, click here.
For the full results of yesterday’s vote, click here.