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Britain's general election campaign officially starts

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2019-11-07 09:17:18Xinhua Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain on Nov. 6, 2019.(Xinhua/Han Yan)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain on Nov. 6, 2019.(Xinhua/Han Yan)

Britain's general election campaign officially started Wednesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had an audience with Queen Elizabeth II to formally ask her permission to dissolve parliament. 

The Houses of Parliament closed its doors at midnight and will not re-open until after the Dec. 12 election. The dissolution essentially fires the starting-gun on campaigns by the political parties in the run-up to polling day when up to 46 million people will cast their votes. It will be Britain's third general election in five years, following polls in 2015 and 2017.

As Johnson is leader of a minority government and Britain's future with the European Union (EU) likely to be the major issue for voters in a country divided by Brexit, the result of the election will determine what happens to Johnson's Brexit deal with the EU during the Brexit delay till Jan. 31, 2020. 

Johnson will head to the Midlands region of England Wednesday night to officially launch the Conservative Party's election campaign. 

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Wednesday, Johnson said: "For the last three-and-a-half years this country has been trapped by Brexit... We have been paralyzed by a broken parliament." 

"It is only by getting Brexit done in the next few weeks that we can focus on all the priorities of the British people," he wrote. 

The minority Liberal Democrats want Brexit to be scrapped altogether with Britain remaining a member of the bloc while the main opposition Labour Party says it will seek a new agreement with Brussels if it wins and put it to a new referendum.

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