British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Sunday “to get Brexit done”, pledging in his Conservative Party’s manifesto to bring his deal to leave the European Union back to parliament before Christmas and ruling out any more delay.
With less than three weeks before Britain heads to the polls on December 12, the governing Conservatives and opposition Labour Party are trying to tempt voters with different visions of the country’s future, but both pledging to spend more.
Johnson’s manifesto aims at drawing a distinction with Labour, which has promised to raise taxes on the rich and businesses to fund a big expansion of the state, by promising not to increase taxes if the Conservatives win the election.
Opinion polls show Johnson’s Conservative Party commands a sizeable lead over the Labour Party, although large numbers of undecided voters mean the outcome is not certain.
“Get Brexit done and we shall see a pent up tidal wave of investment into this country,” Johnson said, launching his manifesto in at a conference centre in Telford in central England. “Get Brexit done and we can focus our hearts and our minds on the priorities of the British people.” Arriving at the centre, Johnson was welcomed by supporters chanting “Boris” but a little further away, protesters shouted: “Liar, liar, pants on fire”.
Contrasting with Labour’s unabashed tax-and-spend approach, Johnson’s manifesto — titled “Get Brexit Done, Unleash Britain’s Potential” — will pledge to freeze income tax, value-added sales tax and social security payments.
Johnson will announced 3 billion pounds ($3.85 billion) for a National Skills Fund to retrain workers and an extra 2 billion pounds to fill pot-holes in roads.