How the British election could change what happens with Brexit – Globalnews.ca
If you thought the Brexit debate was over, think again.
Depending on which party wins Thursday’s snap election, Britain’s Brexit decision could be reopened.
WATCH: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May calls snap election
But Prime Minister Theresa May has already triggered Article 50, meaning the formal two-year process of leaving the European Union has begun. The choice then is between a “hard Brexit” and a “soft Brexit.” A hard exit would mean leaving the single market, making new trade deals, ending EU migration and revoking all EU laws and regulations, according to BBC News.
In the soft exit scenario, Britain would stay in the single market, but would lose its seat at the EU table. The country would enjoy the “four freedoms” of the EU — free movement of goods, services, capital and people — without officially being in the union.
Here’s how the election outcome would likely impact what happens with Brexit:
Conservatives win a majority
If Theresa May returns as prime minister with a majority of seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives will go ahead with their original “hard Brexit” plan.
Britain would leave the EU in March 2019.
Conservatives win a minority
Things get a little more complicated if the Conservatives win the election, but lose their majority. The opportunity arises for other parties — the Labour Party, Scottish Nationalist Party and the Liberal Democrats — to form a coalition. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would become prime minister in this case, and he is likely to opt for a “soft Brexit,” The Independent UK reports.
Labour wins a minority
In a minority situation, a Labour government with the support of other parties is still possible.
It’s unclear if Corbyn would actually form a coalition though. When asked about it earlier in June, he said: “You’d better ask me on June 9th,” according to The Telegraph UK.
Labour wins a majority
Although Corbyn had supported the “No” Brexit vote, he has pledged to honour the House of Commons’ decision to back Brexit. In February, MPs voted overwhelmingly to support leaving with a decisive 498 votes to 114.
“Labour wants a jobs-first Brexit,” Corbyn said, according to The Independent UK. “A Brexit that safeguards the future of Britain’s vital industries, a Brexit that paves the way to a genuinely fairer society and an upgraded economy.”
— With a file from The Associated Press