Boris Johnson and the Conservatives can look forward to another five years in government after winning the General Election with a majority of 80.
The initial reaction to the result is to suggest that Brexit will happen, and the UK will exit the EU on January 31 2020. All of the Conservative candidates signed a pledge to vote in favour of the withdrawal agreement and the associated Brexit legislation when Parliament re-convenes.
The Conservatives based their campaign around the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’. However, while January 31 2020 will be the official exit date, very little will change once February dawns. January will mark, not the ‘end’ of the Brexit process, but perhaps something closer to ‘the beginning of the end’. February 1 to the end of 2020 will be a ‘transition period’ where the UK’s existing trade relationship with the EU is maintained while the two sides negotiate a new long-term trade relationship. Mr Johnson has said the UK will conclude these negotiations by December next year, but senior EU figures have suggested that this represents an extremely ambitious timetable. This now means that a different sort of ‘no deal’ outcome is possible, where the two sides fail to reach agreement by the end of next year, but also fail to agree to extend the transition period.
Many commentators have suggested that the Prime Minister’s comfortable Commons majority could increase the chances of a softer final UK-EU deal, as Mr Johnson will not be hamstrung by the demands of small factions of MPs in his own party.
The Conservative manifesto also promises:
- No increases in income tax, VAT or National Insurance
- The National Insurance lower earnings threshold will rise to £9,500 in 2020. There is also ‘an ultimate ambition’, with no timescale mentioned, to raise this to £12,500
- The pension ‘triple lock’ – where the state pension rises by the highest of 5%, the Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation and average earnings growth – will be maintained
- A review designed to assist those who earn between £10,000 and £12,500 and who have been missing out on pension benefits because of a loophole affecting people with net pay pension schemes
- A review of the pension annual allowance taper – at present, for every £2 of adjusted income over £150,000, an individual’s annual allowance is reduced by £1
- EU migrants will only be able to access unemployment, housing, and child benefit after five years
- It will no longer be possible to claim child benefit for children living overseas
- A new market in long-term fixed rate mortgages to reduce the cost of deposits
- Corporation tax to remain at 19% – the party previously had a policy of reducing this to 17% in the longer term
The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article