Britain votes in ‘Brexit election’

London, Dec 12 (AFP/APP): Britain goes to the polls on Thursday to determine the immediate future of Brexit, in a vote described as the most important in a generation.

More than 4,000 polling venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including a windmill, several pubs, a hair salon and a chip shop, open their doors at 0700 GMT for a day of voting until 2200 GMT.

All eyes will be on the winter weather, with forecasts of near-freezing temperatures, rain and even snow that could affect turn-out in the first December election in nearly a century.

Up for grabs are all 650 seats in the British parliament, which has been deadlocked since the 2016 referendum on EU membership that saw a majority vote to leave.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took over from Theresa May in July after she was unable to get parliament to approve her EU divorce deal, is hoping to secure both a mandate and a majority.

Johnson’s Conservatives need just nine more seats for a majority, which would allow him to push through his own Brexit deal with Brussels and take Britain out of the bloc by the end of January.

Johnson said Thursday was a chance to end more than three years of political deadlock and uncertainty.

“Just imagine how wonderful it will be to settle down to a turkey dinner this Christmas with Brexit decided,” he said in a final message to voters.

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