12:27 GMT09 August 2020
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    Political Turmoil in UK as Boris Johnson Struggles to Deliver Brexit (58)

    Brexit has been a staple theme of Boris Johnson’s first 100 days in office, and whether he stays in No. 10 for five more weeks or five more years depends on an election that may revolve around this topic.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling on Britons to vote Conservative and get Brexit done – or otherwise get Jeremy Corbyn.

    “We’ve got a deal that’s ready to go and if we can get it right with a new Parliament we will move quickly,” Johnson said in an interview with The Sun.

    “There’s only one way to get Brexit done and there’s only one way to get it done fast and that’s to vote for us, vote for the Conservatives.”

    “The risk of voting for any other party — and I’m afraid it is ANY other party — is you just get Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party or a chaotic coalition led by Corbyn,” he said, promising that a Tory-controlled government will “bang” his Brexit deal through on day 1.

    Johnson vs. a divided parliament 

    Earlier this week, MPs voted 438 to 20 to approve Johnson’s proposal to hold a snap election on 12 December. The prime minister, who has long sought to deliver on the results of the 2016 referendum, currently doesn’t have a majority in parliament, and the lawmakers have previously blocked his attempts to pass a deal or leave the EU without one.

    Johnson had tried and failed three times to draw Parliament’s support for an early election, because the opposition was afraid of a no-deal scenario should Johnson have won.

    The European Union agreed to delay Brexit one more time until 31 January after British lawmakers rejected Johnson’s plan to fast-track his revised withdrawal agreement through Parliament.

    Johnson in response called for a general election, and the opposition agreed to have it – apparently believing that no-deal was now off the table and that it was the best chance to stop Brexit altogether.

    Latest polls have the Tories at 36 to 40 percent, with Labour trailing behind at 27-28 percent.

    Johnson vs. Corbyn

    Johnson claimed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn offers an outdated vision for Britain, calling him a “fossil” coming from “the Marianas Trench of politics.”

    “They’ve found this thing that belongs to a previous epoch of political thought,” he said of Corbyn’s proposed tax on the super-rich. “He genuinely thinks it’s a good idea to take huge sums of money away from ordinary people and take them into the state and then spend them.”

    “Well, the top one per cent pay 30 per cent of income tax. I want rich people to pay loads of tax, to contribute to our society but I don’t want them driven out of Britain.

    “I don’t want anyone who is aspirational, who wants to start their own business, to be persecuted. It’s crazy stuff.”

    Johnson vs. his own MPs

    Johnson recounted that he got peeved after 21 of his own MPs rebelled in September and supported a bill forcing his to request a Brexit delay – which he called a ‘Surrender Act’.

    “It did make me very angry. I was so sick that they came in to see me at one point and handed me the letter. I filed it vertically, I’m afraid. Then they came back with another copy and I filed that vertically,” he recalled.

    The prime minister did comply with the law and sent an (ostentatiously) unsigned request for a delay alongside a separate letter arguing against one.

    He has since restored the whips of 10 of the 21 MPs he expelled for their rebellion, allowing them to stand as Conservative candidates in the ongoing election campaign.

    There has been some speculation that Johnson’s plan from the very beginning was to force parliament into an early election in order to secure a full five-year term.

    He denied those suggestions: “I don’t want this election. I don’t seek it. I love being PM — it’s the most fantastic job in the world. Any election is a risk but we have to do it as the only way to resolve this is to set a hard deadline and get Brexit done.”

    The prime minister also revealed that his partner Carrie Symonds, the former Tory head of communication, will be involved in the election campaign.

    “I hope very much she’ll play some supporting role,” he said. “I don’t know quite what it’ll be just yet — but we have a few ideas in mind.”

    Political Turmoil in UK as Boris Johnson Struggles to Deliver Brexit (58)
    Jeremy Corbyn, UK, general election, Boris Johnson, Brexit
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