British Parliament Officially Dissolves

The latest polls show the Labor Party as the favorite, ahead of the Conservatives, who are now in power

Shevaun Haviland

It’s settled: Britain will hold a general election on July 4, the campaign has begun, and on Thursday, May 30 the British Parliament officially dissolves. Following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s surprise decision for an early vote, all 650 MP seats are now vacant. The five-week campaign to elect new members of the lower house of parliament, who will take their seats from July 9, has begun. Meanwhile, 78 retiring Conservative MPs have said they will not run in the election.

The first televised debate between Sunak and Opposition Leader Keir Starmer will be held on Tuesday, June 4, exactly one month before the vote. The date was confirmed by ITV, the TV channel chosen by both politicians to broadcast the crucial debate. Meanwhile, Sunak rejected a proposed deal with former United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader and honorary president of UK Reform, Nigel Farage. The latter suggested that they “should have negotiated before the election.” Sunak rejected the idea. When asked if he would talk to Farage about it, the Prime Minister said: “The Prime Minister will only be one of the two: Keir Starmer or me. Consequently, anyone who is not a Conservative should vote for Keir Starmer to come to 10 Downing Street.”

According to British media, the economy, immigration, and relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union will be at the center of the election campaign. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that “the next UK government will have to negotiate better trade relations with the EU, as businesses face ever-higher costs due to Brexit.” According to BCC experts, stricter migration rules, increased costs, and the complexity of exports are limiting the country’s investment and economic growth. “We urgently need to improve trade relations with our nearest neighbor,” BCC CEO Shevaun Haviland told the Financial Times.

The early election announcement, comparable to a minor political earthquake, overshadowed the sensational sale for 3.57 billion pounds (4.19 billion euros) to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky of Britain’s Royal Mail, one of the United Kingdom’s historic symbols. Its current owner, International Distribution Services (IDS), announced that it has accepted the acquisition offer from EPH (Energetický a průmyslový holding). This largest energy group in Eastern Europe is owned by Kretinsky.