UK voters decide who they want to resolve Brexit impasse
LONDON (AP) — Britons who have endured three years of wrangling over their country’s messy divorce from the European Union cast ballots Thursday in an election billed as a way out of the Brexit stalemate and one of the deeply divided country’s most important votes since World War II.
The contest pits Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will take Britain out of the EU by January 31, against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who promises another referendum on Brexit.
All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election, which is being held more than two years ahead of schedule.
At a fish market in the eastern port of Grimsby, seafood company owner Nathan Godley summed up the hopes of many people that — one way or another — the election would provide a pathway to a resolution of Brexit.
“I think we all got a bit weary of the politicians over the last few years really and I think having a government with a majority to give them the clout to actually do what they want is a good thing,” he said.
Johnson voted at Methodist Central Hall in London, accompanied by his dog, Dilyn.
Corbyn was greeted by supporters and an activist dressed as Elmo from “Sesame Street”as he arrived to vote in his north London constituency.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg urged the country to look beyond Brexit.
“Every election is a climate election. Vote for your children. Vote for the planet. Vote for future generations. Vote for humanity,” Thunberg tweeted the day after Time magazine selected her as its youngest ever Person of the Year.
With so much at stake, political parties have pushed the boundaries of truth, transparency and reality during five weeks of campaigning.
Johnson’s Conservative Party was criticised for using misleading tactics on social media, while Corbyn’s Labour Party promised to tax the rich, boost government spending and nationalise industries such as railroads and water companies.
One of the focal points of the ugly campaign was the National Health Service, a deeply respected institution that has struggled to meet rising demand after nine years of austerity under Conservative-led governments.