British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election in April, to the surprise of many. And 52 days after the announcement, polls have opened in the United Kingdom.
As Britons head to vote, we take a glance at the key issues and where main political parties stand.
One of the most pressing issues is Brexit. At first, May was against Brexit but she changed her stance after the EU referendum and now says there can be no turning back and that “Brexit means Brexit.” Implementation of Brexit will pull the U.K. out of the European Union.
The Conservative Party pledged to leave the single market and curb immigration whereas the Labor Party plans to include retaining the benefits of the single market and guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in Britain.
The Conservatives want to make migrants wait four years before they can claim certain benefits and also want to toughen visa requirements. On the other hand, the Labor Party wants to bring “stronger” border controls to tackle illegal immigration with “proper” entry and exit checks.
- Defense and Security
The Conservative Party plans to protect foreign aid and also wants to retain Trident nuclear deterrent. On the contrary, the Labor Party will work toward a nuclear-free world. It also plans to order a strategic and security review.
Trident is Britain’s nuclear deterrent, which consists of submarines and ballistic missiles. Trident is currently referred to as Operation Relentless and is based in the Faslane area of Scotland.
While the Conservative Party wants to increase health spending by at least $10 billion over the next five years, the Labor Party scrap the National Health Service workers' pay cap and plans to spend an extra $7 billion per year. It also wants to increase the proportion of the mental health budget spent on children and will prioritize child mental health.
Other issues in the general election include: economy, jobs, education, housing, law and order and poverty.