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UK PM to Welcome New Lawmakers         12/16 06:28

   LONDON (AP) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to give a pep 
talk Monday to a new group of Conservative Party lawmakers as he begins his 
push to secure parliamentary approval for his Brexit deal.

   Johnson will welcome 109 newly elected colleagues, many of them coming from 
parts of the country that were once strongholds of the opposition Labour Party.

   Buoyed by the party's decisive win in last week's election, Johnson will 
move fast to deliver on his campaign mantra to "get Brexit done." That means 
ensuring a Brexit withdrawal agreement bill is passed in time for the U.K. to 
complete its historic departure from the European Union by the current deadline 
of Jan. 31.

   Johnson has promised to bring the bill to the House of Commons before 
Christmas. It is expected to receive strong support in Parliament, where 
Johnson's Conservatives hold a strong majority. The party won 365 of the 650 
seats in the House of Commons in Thursday's landslide election. 

   If the bill passes and Britain leaves the EU on time, the country will enter 
a transition period when EU rules and regulations would still apply in the 
country and people and goods would still be able to pass freely between the 
U.K. and the remaining EU members. 

   Negotiators for the British government and the EU would start trade talks 
with an eye toward reaching a comprehensive post-Brexit agreement.

   Queen Elizabeth II will formally open Parliament on Thursday with a speech 
outlining the government's legislative program.

   The pomp and ceremony surrounding the queen's speech will be less lavish 
than usual because she last formally opened Parliament just two months ago for 
what turned out to be a session that was cut short by a vote for an early 

   New lawmakers took to Twitter to chronicle their first day at work.

   The new representative for Bury in northwest England, Christian Wakeford, 
tweeted: "Reality with a bump, 5:33 train down to #Westminster not a morning 
person at all but couldn't be happier to be on this train." 

   Newcastle-under-Lyme lawmaker Aaron Bell shared an image of himself smiling 
in front of the Palace of Westminster: "Good morning Newcastle. A new dawn has 
broken, has it not?"

   There was no such giddiness on the Labour side as the party prepares for 
what is likely to be a bruising leadership contest, which is expected to 
formally begin in early January. The goal is to have a replacement for Jeremy 
Corbyn in place by the end of March.

   Labour took 203 seats in Thursday's election, its worst total since 
1935.Corbyn has apologized for the party's dismal performance and has agreed to 
step down when a new leader is chosen.


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