Boris Johnson promises to end ‘paralysis’ over Brexit as he formally kicks off poll campaign

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Published: November 6, 2019 9:54:00 PM

The Prime Minister, who has earlier expressed his “deep regret” for not being able to meet the October 31 Brexit deadline, said he did not want to call the election in December but had been forced to act in the face of Parliament's efforts to block his "great Brexit deal".

Boris Johnson, Brexit, poll campaign, Brexit news, Brexit updateBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Reuters photo)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday said if he wins next month’s general election, he would end the “paralysis” in Parliament over Brexit but warned that a victory for the Opposition Labour Party would mean a “horror show” and further delay in UK’s divorce from the EU.

Johnson formally launched his Conservative Party’s campaign for the December 12 elections after a visit to Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to dissolve the current Parliament. In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, he warned against a “horror show” government led by the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as he pledged to get Brexit “over the line” within the new January 31, 2020 deadline.

The 28-member EU has agreed to extend the Brexit deadline until January 31, 2020. The UK joined in 1973. If the UK leaves, it would be the first member state to withdraw from the EU. “I say come with us. That is the choice at this election. Come with us, get Brexit done, and take this country forward,” said Johnson.

“This is the alternative next year: Spend the whole of 2020 in a horror show of yet more dither and delay; Imagine waking up on Friday 13th December and finding [Labour leader] Corbyn at the head of his technicolour yawn of a coalition and they would spend the whole of 2020 having two referendums,” he said.

The Prime Minister, who has earlier expressed his “deep regret” for not being able to meet the October 31 Brexit deadline, said he did not want to call the election in December but had been forced to act in the face of Parliament’s efforts to block his “great Brexit deal”. If his “modern and compassionate” Tory party won the election, Johnson said he would take the UK out of the European Union (EU) within six weeks, a move which would release a “flood of pent-up investment” in the economy. In contrast, he said, a Labour victory would result in another Brexit referendum and a second vote on Scottish independence.

“If I come back with a working majority, I will get Parliament working again,” he added. But his party was rocked by a ministerial resignation after Welsh secretary Alun Cairns stepped down amid claims he knew about a former aide’s alleged role in the “sabotage” of a rape trial.

The UK Parliament was dissolved, or formally shut down, in the early hours of Wednesday which means all MPs revert to being members of the public. Government ministers keep their posts until the elections.

Johnson’s meeting with the monarch is for her to sign a royal proclamation confirming the end of the sitting Parliament. It marks the dissolution of the shortest Parliamentary session in the UK since 1948, with the House of Commons having met for only 19 days since the State Opening of a so-called new Boris Johnson led government held only on October 14.

Meanwhile, Corbyn carried on his party’s campaign trail, launched earlier in the week, and promised to be a “very different kind of Prime Minister” who “only seeks power in order to share power”. He said the election was a once-in-a-generation chance to “tear down the barriers that are holding people back” and to “rebuild” the state-funded National Health Service (NHS), schools and the police force.

The Green Party launched its election campaign with a pledge to invest 100 billion pounds a year on climate action for a decade. The Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend 2.2 billion pounds a year on mental health services, funded by a 1 per cent rise to income tax.

The parties will go head to head for a five-week campaign period ahead of the polls on December 12. Earlier, Johnson wrote in the Telegraph, “With a new parliament and a sensible majority government, we can get that deal through a new Parliament in days. It is oven ready. Let’s get Brexit done, and take this country forward.” Johnson also compared Labour Party leader Corbyn to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin for “hating” businesses.

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