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The General Election: outcomes and impact

Sylwia, a key member of the Rapid Personnel team, took a keen interest in the upcoming general election and had some questions. We decided to share some those questions along with our answers for the benefit of the rest of the team, our employees, and anyone else who follows us.

Who are the main parties?

The main parties are:

The Conservative Party

The Labour Party

The Liberal Democrats

The Brexit Party

The Green Party

There are several other parties, however they are unlikely to win any seats. The Brexit Party and The Green Party are also only likely to win one or two seats at most

What would it mean for EU workers in the UK if the following party won?

The Conservatives

The Conservatives are led by Boris Johnson who is the current Prime Minister. They are traditionally associated with ‘centre-right’ policies and have adopted the position of backing the UK leaving the European Union. They have been in government since 2010. The Conservatives have promised to lower immigration and restrict freedom of movement from EU countries if they win a majority at the next election. However, they have stated there will be no changes made to the existing immigration plan during a transitional period lasting until the end of December 2020. EU nationals arriving before that date will be able to apply for pre-settled status in the UK.

As a British worker this could be seen as a positive as there will likely be more jobs available. However, as a European national wishing to arrive after December 2020, this could make it harder to secure the right to work in the UK. There has been an historic trend in the UK for foreign workers to accept jobs that British people are unable or unwilling to take, and we believe that short term temporary visas will be made available for European workers. The process of working in the UK may well become more time consuming and require more effort.

The Labour Party

The Labour Party is led by Jeremy Corbyn and has the second largest representation in parliament. They party is referred to as ‘The Opposition’. The party is associated with ‘centre left’ policies and until recently their position on Brexit has been unclear. In the party’s latest manifesto, they have pledged to renegotiate a withdrawal deal with the EU that will include remaining in the customs union and the single market. This in turn would allow for freedom of movement to continue. They would then give the public a second Brexit Referendum with a choice between their new deal and remaining in the EU. The party has said that it will adopt a neutral stance in that referendum.

Under a Labour government, not much would change for European workers as freedom of movement would form part of their renegotiated deal, and if the public eventually vote to ‘remain’ in a second referendum, then nothing will change from the current EU agreements.

There are concerns among the centre right that the Labour Party’s policies could have a negative effect on business confidence and potentially damage the job market in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are a minority party in parliament. They are led by Jo Swinson. The Liberal Democrats believe that Brexit is bad for the UK and the economy in general. They are campaigning to cancel Brexit entirely. They believe that The Conservative party have drifted further to the right from centre and that the Labour Party have done the same to the left. The Liberal Democrats are hoping to occupy the centre ground and pick up voters disillusioned with both major parties. As an EU worker, if Brexit is cancelled, working and immigration rights will remain the same. The Liberal Democrats believe that confidence will return to the economy and the job market will flourish under these conditions.

What would it mean for Brexit?

The Conservatives – Great Britain will leave the EU either with or without a withdrawal agreement and future trade deal

The Labour Party – There will be a renegotiated deal with the EU to include freedom of movement. This deal will then form part of a second referendum where the public will be able to decide whether to accept the new deal, or remain in the EU

The Liberal Democrats – Will cancel Brexit

Who is eligible to vote?

You are eligible to vote in the general election, if you are:

  • registered to vote
  • over 18 on the day of the election
  • a British, Irish, or qualifying commonwealth citizen
  • resident at a UK address (or a British citizen registered in the last 15 years)
  • not legally excluded from voting

In the UK we do not vote for the future prime minister specifically, we vote for our local member of Parliament (MP). That MP then wins a seat in the Houses of Parliament and represents their local constituency. The party with the majority of MPs in Parliament is invited by the Queen to form a Government and the leader of that party will then assume the position of Prime Minister.

In order to vote for your local MP, you must be registered to vote.

If you are eligible and have registered to vote, why it is important you use your vote?

It’s important to use your vote if you want your views to be represented on both a local and national level. The Prime Minister is also responsible for international policy and alliances so using your voice, helps ensure you can be represented by someone who shares your values. Even if the candidate you choose to represent you in the Houses of Parliament is part of the opposition party, they can still have an influence on current affairs and policy.

How do I find my local polling station? You can find your local polling station at www.wheredoivote.co.uk just enter the postcode you registered with and it will give you the closest location.


 

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