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British parliament to reconvene on December 17: Downing Street statement

FILE PHOTO: A Christmas tree is seen near the British Parliament in London, Britain, November 23, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s parliament will be reconvened on Dec. 17 following the general election, and if Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains leader, his government plans to set out its legislative agenda on Dec. 19, the government said on Monday.

The emailed statement from Johnson’s government office said if there were to be a change of government after the Dec. 12 election, the plans could change.

Britain is holding an election three years ahead of schedule because parliament had become deadlocked over Brexit, unable to agree on how or even whether to leave the European Union.

Johnson’s Conservatives are leading the opposition Labour Party in polls, but the election campaign has over two weeks to run, and is hard to predict because Brexit has blurred traditional party lines.

The plan to move swiftly to a “Queen’s speech”, in which Queen Elizabeth formally opens parliament and sets out the government’s legislative plans, underlines Johnson’s core campaign message that he wants to deal with Brexit as quickly as possible.

Johnson has pledged that before Christmas he will present parliament with legislation needed to implement a Brexit deal he has already agreed with Brussels.

Reporting by William James; editing by Michael Holden