British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn traded barbs over Brexit and public spending Wednesday as campaigning unofficially kicked off for the country’s crucial yet unpredictable Dec. 12 general election. The Conservative and Labour leaders honed their pitches to the public while speaking during the House of Commons’ weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, the last before Parliament is suspended for the five-week election campaign. “This election is a once-in-a-generation chance,” Corbyn said. “People have a chance to vote for real change after years of Conservative and Lib Dem cuts, privatization and tax handouts for the richest.” Johnson agreed “that there is a stark choice facing this country.” He said the choice was between “getting Brexit done and ending the dither and the delay” if the Conservatives won, and “economic catastrophe under the Labour Party.” The partisan peacocking came a day after the House of Commons approved an early election that politicians hope could break the deadlock over Britain’s stalled departure from the European Union. The date will become law once it is approved later Wednesday by the unelected House of Lords, which doesn’t have the power to overrule the elected Commons. The looming national vote comes 2 1/2 years before Britain’s next scheduled vote in 2022 and will be the country’s first December election since 1923. While Johnson’s Conservative Party has a wide lead in opinion polls, analysts say the election is unpredictable because Brexit cuts across traditional party loyalties. Johnson told Conservative lawmakers on
“From what we know, it seems the Prime Minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May’s, which was overwhelmingly rejected. This sell-out deal won’t bring the country together and should be rejected. The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote,” Jeremy Corbyn said.
The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.” The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept to looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals. Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels. The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts. “Chicken and campylobacter are best friends,” said Ashley Peterson of the National Chicken Council, an industry group. Campylobacter (kam-pih-loh-BAK’-tur) isn’t widely known
Opposition parties said they would try to pass a law which would force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union and prevent a potentially chaotic no-deal exit at the end of October. The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has pledged to leave the bloc in 66 days without a deal unless Brussels agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce. Parliament returns from its summer break next week and is preparing for a battle with Johnson, who has vowed to take Britain out of the European Union at the end of October with or without an exit agreement. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn hosted talks with opposition parties on Tuesday where they agreed that passing a law to force the government to seek a delay to Britain’s EU departure would probably have the most support. “We are going to come together and do the right thing by our country,” said Anna Soubry, leader of The Independent Group for Change party. “We are up against a prime minister who has no mandate for this and I think he has no regard for parliament.” The opposition parties are seeking to repeat what they did earlier this year when lawmakers seized control of the parliamentary agenda to pass a law forcing Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May to seek an extension to Britain’s EU membership. They also managed to change legislation to require parliament to be