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What would a UK Conservative majority government do?

  • Published at 01:46 pm December 13th, 2019
Boris Johnson
Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson speaks during a campaign event to celebrate the result of the General Election, in central London on December 13, 2019 AFP

After January 31 Britain will enter a transition period during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the EU27

An exit poll has predicted Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives will win an outright majority in Thursday's election with a total of 368 seats.

If that is correct, here is what to expect from a majority Conservative government:

Brexit by January 31

Johnson has promised to bring back to parliament before Christmas the legislation required to ratify his exit deal with Brussels and ensure it is passed by the end of January.

All Conservative candidates have signed up to the deal, so it is expected to have a relatively smooth journey through parliament as opposition parties will not have the numbers to defeat it or make changes to it.

The broadcaster's exit poll results projected on the outside of the BBC building in London /AFP

No extension of transition

After January 31 Britain will enter a transition period during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the EU27.

This can run until the end of December 2022 under the current rules, but the Conservatives made an election promise not to extend the transition period beyond the end of 2020.

If they fail to hammer out a new trade deal by the end of 2020, a deadline trade experts say is unrealistic, Britain could effectively be facing a disorderly no-deal Brexit again.

Budget in February

The party has promised to hold a post-Brexit budget in February, boosting spending on domestic issues such as the health service, education and police.

Immigration

The Conservatives plan to introduce an "Australian-style" points-based immigration system. They have promised to reduce overall immigration numbers. In particular there will be fewer low-skilled migrants.

Under the new system, which will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same, most immigrants will need a job offer to come to Britain. There will be special visa schemes for migrants who will fill shortages in public services, or who are leaders in fields such as science and technology.

Government borrowing

Finance minister Sajid Javid has said he will rewrite the country's fiscal rules so he can spend an extra 20 billion pounds per year over the next five years, raising borrowing for infrastructure to 3% of economic output from its current 1.8%.

Trade

Johnson's party has said it wants to have 80 percent of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within three years. It plans to prioritise agreeing deals with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.