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Johnson pledges transformative Brexit as nerves are rattled by UK polls

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Johnson pledges transformative Brexit as nerves are rattled by UK polls

By William James and Guy Faulconbridge

 

2019-12-08T114121Z_2_LYNXMPEFB706E_RTROPTP_4_BRITAIN-ELECTION-JOHNSON.JPG

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the launch of a general campaign poster at the Kent Showground in Detling, Kent, Britain, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool

 

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was nervous about his narrowing lead in opinion polls ahead of Thursday's election but pledged to deliver a "transformative" Brexit that will allow lower immigration.

 

The Dec. 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world's fifth-largest economy with a stark choice between Johnson's pro-market Conservatives and the socialist-led opposition Labour Party.

 

"Brexit is the most radical and profound change to the management of this country," Johnson told Sky, adding that he would lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union on Jan. 31 if he wins a majority in the 650-seat parliament.

 

"Brexit is indispensable - you can't move forward without Brexit," said Johnson, the face of the leave campaign in the 2016 referendum before winning the top job in July after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to deliver Brexit on time.

 

Johnson called the snap election after more than three years of political crisis over the United Kingdom's most significant geopolitical move since World War Two.

 

Voting takes place from 0700 and 2200 GMT on Thursday, with Johnson likely to need more than 320 seats to ensure he can remain prime minister and ratify the Brexit deal he struck with the EU in October.

 

Opinion polls put Johnson ahead of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, though his lead has narrowed in recent weeks and such polls largely failed to predict the 2016 referendum result or May's loss of her majority in the 2017 snap election.

 

Asked if he was nervous about narrowing polls, Johnson said: "Of course, we are fighting for every vote. I think that this is a critical moment for this country."

 

Four opinion polls published on Saturday put the lead of Johnson's Conservative Party over the Labour Party at between eight and 15 points.

 

The Conservatives are certainly in pole position, but not necessarily so far ahead that they're guaranteed to win, polling expert John Curtice told the BBC.

 

KREMLIN SHADOW?

With the United Kingdom still split over Brexit, the election has largely been dominated by rhetoric over the EU exit and an array of expensive spending promises on public services by both major parties.

 

Beyond Brexit, the main foreign policy issue has been Corbyn's claim that Johnson would sell off the much-cherished National Health Service (NHS) to U.S. corporations in a post-Brexit deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.

 

Johnson has repeatedly denied that claim and Trump last week said he wouldn't want the NHS if it was offered on a silver platter, but Corbyn has used leaked British-U.S. trade documents to argue that Johnson is a threat to the NHS.

 

The leak of the classified documents online is tied to a previous Russian disinformation campaign, social media site Reddit said on Friday, fuelling fears that Moscow is seeking to interfere in the British election.

 

The Kremlin, which says the West is gripped by anti-Russian hysteria, has denied it meddles in Western democracies.

 

The UK government said it is looking into the matter with support from the National Cyber Security Centre, part of the GCHQ signals intelligence agency.

 

No major poll predicts victory for Corbyn, a socialist who wants to bring swathes of the British economy into state ownership, but Labour could yet lead a minority government given that few other parties are willing to prop up a Johnson government.

 

Labour proposes negotiating a new deal and then holding another EU referendum.

 

Johnson dodged a question on whether he would resign if he failed to win a majority and dismissed questions suggesting that, after nearly a decade of Conservative rule, he was offering voters little beyond Brexit.

 

Echoing the Leave campaign pledges of 2016, Johnson promised lower immigration with a Australian-style points system.

 

When asked by Sky what the naughtiest thing he was ready to confess, Johnson initially asked advisers for suggestions before saying: "When I was riding a bicycle every day, which I used to do, I may sometimes have not always have obeyed the law about cycling on the pavement."

 

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and David Goodman)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-12-09
 
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Well at least he is not as bad as Corbyn ,his would be anti Sematism ,or " God forbid ,i slept with Dianne Abbott , 

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This is what happens when the gap between ponces and dossers and people who work for a living narrows.socialism is all well and good providing you,ve got capitalism to pay for it,if I'm wrong take a look over the channel 're macros pension reforms,seems the natives are restless

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Baiting post and reply removed

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He is already transforming UK to a full bankruptcy and started already trading off NHS !

BS BJ has no clue how to handle the country matters just a kiddo with a wish of a Brexit deal or no deal, careless of the financial consequences.

 

I am not against Brexit, even if i would have negotiated better terms with EU without a fancy and very costly Brexit. 

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4 hours ago, roquefort said:

That’s all the British press does, ask stupid questions. They have no other raison d’etre. 
Have you seen them running after politicians in the street, shouting questions that they know haven’t got a hope in hell of being answered, all to make them look as if they’re doing their job? Childish and pathetic.

Politics/press has become a ritual, a game of cat and mouse that no-one in their right mind takes any notice of.

That is not a fair assessment of Sky.

 

Rooster

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love it if Labour gets in..

 

let corbyn and mcdonnell smash the FTSE and housing market down 30%

 

..and i can buy it all up cheap b4 the tories get back in

 

oooooo je-re-my corrrrrr-byn!!

 

:clap2:

 

Edited by GeorgeCross
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"Johnson has repeatedly denied that claim and Trump last week said he wouldn't want the NHS if it was offered on a silver platter, but Corbyn has used leaked British-U.S. trade documents to argue that Johnson is a threat to the NHS."

 

Johnson is not just a threat to the NHS but to the UK as a whole.

There was no need for leaked documents, the US has made it's objectives perfectly clear.

People just need to read and try and understand the consequences.

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/Summary_of_U.S.-UK_Negotiating_Objectives.pdf

 

It is probably quite right that Trump does not want the NHS, the intention is much more subversive. The EU recognised the threat but Bojo neither has the will nor the clout. He talks about climate change but it will mean little when the UK gets it's hands tied by one of the largest global polluters.

 

"In recent years, investors facing possible administrative, regulatory or judicial measures leading to discrimination or adverse treatment have increasingly turned to an independent arbitration tribunal based on the ISDS clauses in the respective bilateral investment treaties. By the end of 2013, there were 560 such investment disputes worldwide (based on approximately 3 000 BITs). This increase in international arbitration cases has prompted significant concern by critics that investment protection rules could be abused by foreign investors with a view to preventing (or at least limiting) countries’ ‘right to regulate’, i.e. to make legitimate policy choices, especially in the fields of environment, public health and social protection. Such concerns have been voiced mostly by NGOs, think tanks, some political parties and national parliaments that have called not only for the removal of ISDS clauses from the TTIP, but also for rejection of the TTIP altogether."

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-international-trade-inta/file-ttip-investment-protection-investor-state-dispute-settlement-(isds)

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6 hours ago, kingdong said:

This is what happens when the gap between ponces and dossers and people who work for a living narrows.socialism is all well and good providing you,ve got capitalism to pay for it,if I'm wrong take a look over the channel 're macros pension reforms,seems the natives are restless

Or look a wee bit further to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Some very rich countries there and all have been primarily socialist/capitalist societies for decades. Of course some. like Iceland, chose to tell their banks in the 08 crash that they would not be bailed out and many of the crooks were jailed, The UK took a different view and has handed over some £435bn in the last 10 years refinancing them, allowing the bonuses to keep increasing. I wonder who paid for that...

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Oh gawd. Now I have to decide who has committed the greater crime. Teresa May running through a field of standing wheat or BJ riding a pedal bicycle on a public footpath.

 

Help please! My brain is swelling!

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