A few things have been happening in parliament recently and unfortunately, much of it is to do with Brexit. Before you all sigh and move on without paying attention, I’m here to tell you that you need to register to vote if you haven’t done so because we need to prepare for a general election. Take this article as a guide to everything you need to know about British Politics™ in the run-up to the election.
First I’m going to start with Boris Johnson. Our current (unelected) Prime Minister has decided to ask the Queen to prorogue parliament, which essentially means that parliament will be shut down for two weeks ending 14th October. This suspension of parliament would enable Boris Johnson to go ahead with his plans of a No-Deal Brexit. Many people have claimed the shutdown is illegal, with protests taking place in London on multiple occasions, but the High Court ruled that the prorogation of parliament is lawful. This still doesn’t take away from the fact that Boris is an unelected leader who’s using the powers of another unelected leader to put democracy on hold.
So is a no-deal Brexit the most likely outcome? No, after a day of voting in parliament on Wednesday, MPs voted for a bill that blocks a no-deal Brexit. After facing defeat, he proposed a general election that was rejected by MPs. As it currently stands Boris Johnson has no working majority in parliament, he is unable to push through with a no-deal Brexit, and the opposition has voted against a general election. But, a general election is still on the cards as Labour are waiting for the October meeting in Brussels and a guarantee that no-deal is off the table before being open to an election.
When is a general election likely to happen? Right now it’s looking like the 15th of October, before the proposed Brexit date of 31st October. Therefore, it is important to register to vote, as Boris Johnson certainly doesn’t want you to. Johnson and his team are pushing for a 15th October election as this gives students less time to register to vote before the deadline. This is why some people are campaigning for a November election which would not only give us more time to plan but more importantly, it would give students a chance to register to vote before the deadline.
With all the goings-on in parliament you may be wondering what you can do about it, the best thing now would be to get to know the MP candidates in your constituency. You can find out what your constituency is right here: https://beta.parliament.uk/find-your-constituency Additionally, you can also find out how your current MP voted on the latest bills in parliament here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/. It is also important not to forget that this election is not all about Brexit, but the next Prime Minister may perhaps be in power for the next five years, so it is important to be as knowledgeable as possible when voting.
So what can you do to ensure you are able to vote in the event of an election? Register to vote online here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote