Brexit Development Update 15th November 2019

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

Brexit – promises to keep

All leading parties have started rolling out election campaign strategies to woo voters

As Britain readies for general elections, political strategists from all leading parties have started alluring voters with promises, most of which are advocating an unabashed increase in public spending.

Headed by Jeremey Corbyn, the Labour party is leading the charge when it comes to pledges over public spending. The party unveiled plans to increase spending by £55 Bn a year for the next five years. While addressing a major election rally in the first week of November, Shadow Chancellor – John McDonnell pledged £250 Bn over the next ten years for a green fund to invest in clean energy and another £150 Bn ‘social transformation fund’ lasting five years for hospitals, schools and infrastructure. The party vowed that it would unfurl levels of spending ‘on a scale never seen before’.

However, the party also conceded that ultimately Britons would have to pay for the huge investment pledges themselves and would be only possible through exorbitant levels of borrowing.

Experts from Britain’s prominent think tank – the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) feel that Labour’s plans are akin to an attempt to bribe voters with their own money and could potentially bankrupt the country.

Recent opinion polls also indicate that Labour’s promises are not going down well with the public as the Tories have gained a ten point lead in the electoral race. Experts at the think tank – UK in a Changing Europe feel that if Tories are able to hold on to the lead, it’s highly possible that they will get a majority large enough to get PM Johnson’s Brexit deal sanctioned.

Although not completely out of the woods yet, the Conservatives appeared to have received a major shot in the arm as the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, announced that it would not contest on seats won by the Conservatives in the 2017 election.

As far as promises go, the Conservative party is currently playing it a little close to the chest. It has not yet released its manifesto and experts believe it may only publish the full document two weeks prior to the general election. However, the party is likely to disclose individual policies at regular intervals throughout its campaign in a bid to maximise its media coverage.

The centrepiece of the Tories campaign is the pledge to deliver Brexit, which it wants to fulfil by the end of January 2020 using PM Johnson’s renegotiated deal with the EU.

So far, the party has made some key pledges including a £13.8 Bn increase in public spending across all departments and a £33.9 Bn boost specifically for the NHS, the biggest in its history. The party wants to pave the way for the recruitment of an additional 6,000 GPs for the precariously understaffed health service.

As the electoral wheels spin faster, there will definitely be more promises and some possible backouts.

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