Boris Johnson unveils election platform, promises Brexit

AP , Sunday 24 Nov 2019

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a copy of the manifesto as he speaks during an event to launch the 2019 Conservative Party general election manifesto on November 24, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is using the launch of his Conservative Party platform to claim that his is the only party in next month's election that will complete the Brexit process.

"Unlike any other party standing in this election, we are going to get Brexit done,'' he told supporters while waving his party's printed platform, which was unveiled Sunday.

Johnson said the rival parties - the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party and others - would only bring more delay and eventually betray the will of voters as expressed in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Johnson spent much of the time ridiculing opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. He didn't offer details about the plans laid out in the party platform.

The manifesto featured a commitment to bring Johnson's Brexit deal back to Parliament before Christmas, with passage likely assured if the Conservatives win a majority in the Dec. 12 vote.

Johnson vowed to respect the results of the 2016 referendum, which saw Britain vote 52% to 48% in favor of leaving the European Union bloc.

That vote was followed by difficult negotiations with the EU that eventually led to a divorce deal - but one that was rejected in Parliament and then renegotiated by Johnson.

The prime minister says that will change if his party wins a majority, because each of the party's candidates has agreed to back the deal.

His repeated promise to "get Brexit done'' will be much more difficult if he doesn't win an outright majority as other parties plan to slow Brexit down - or halt it altogether.

Before the official launch, Johnson's Conservative Party pledged fiscal openness with the unveiling of its campaign pledges.

Treasury chief Sajid Javid told Sky News the Conservative manifesto would be the "most transparent'' explanation of spending plans in British history.

Johnson revealed the party's campaign plans at an event in the West Midlands, where the Conservatives hope to make inroads with traditional Labour Party voters unhappy with the opposition party's Brexit stance.

Johnson called the election more than two years early in a bid for a parliamentary majority that would back his Brexit plan before the Jan. 31 deadline.

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs.

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