UK general election news: Boris Johnson to kick-start Conservative campaign with pledge to ‘get Brexit done’

Boris Johnson is set to kick start the Conservative Party campaign for the general election by vowing to “get Brexit done”.

The Prime Minister will fire the starting pistol for the Tories in the West Midlands on Wednesday and will put Brexit, the NHS and law and order centre stage in the party’s bid to stay in power. 

 Mr Johnson is expected to use the campaign launch to say that “Britain needs to change,” adding: “It’s time to change the dismal pattern of the last three years and to get out of our rut.” 

Calling for an end to this “debilitating delay”, Mr Johnson will say: “There is only one way to get Brexit done, and I am afraid the answer is to ask the people to change this blockading parliament.”

Boris Johnson conducts his last cabinet meeting before the general election (Getty Images)

Mr Johnson will add: “I don’t want an election. No prime minister wants an early election, especially not in December.

“But as things stand we simply have no choice – because it is only by getting Brexit done in the next few weeks that we can focus on all the priorities of the British people.”

He is also expected to call for a new Tory government to “unleash the potential of our great country”.

Mr Johnson will say: “Let’s go with this Conservative government, get Brexit done, and unleash the potential of our great country- delivering on the public’s priorities of our NHS, crime and the cost of living.

“Meanwhile the alternative is clear – Jeremy Corbyn and his two favourite advisers, dither and delay, turning 2020 into the year of two miserable referendums, one on the EU, and another on Scotland.

“And remember that a vote for any other minor party is effectively a vote for Corbyn, and his catastrophic political and economic programme.”

It comes as Downing Street ruled out giving MPs a say on extending the Brexit transition period beyond the end of next year if Mr Johnson is returned to power in the December 12 election. 

No 10 insisted there was no need for the implementation period after Britain has left the EU to be extended any further as there would be a new free trade agreement in place by December 2020.

The comments, by the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, appeared designed to reassure pro-Brexit Tories that the Government will not countenance any further delay.

However, they appeared at odds with assurances given by ministers to MPs during the Commons debate on Mr Johnson‘s Brexit deal.

Boris Johnson in the Commons (PA)

Under the terms of the agreement, Britain would continue to follow EU rules after it has left the bloc until the end of 2020 to allow time for the two sides to reach a free trade deal.

However some MPs expressed concern that if would be difficult to complete the negotiations to such tight timetable and that it could open a “trapdoor” to a no-deal Brexit if they were unable reach an agreement in time.

In the Commons last month, former justice secretary David Gauke – who sits as an independent after having the Tory whip withdrawn – pressed for MPs to be given a vote on extending the transition for up to two years if, by the start of July, it appeared the deadline was unlikely to be met.

In response, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland accepted Parliament had a “legitimate role to play” and offered to bring forward an amendment to the Withdrawal Bill allowing MPs to have a say on the merits of an extension.

“The Government will abide by that,” he added.

But pressed on Tuesday whether MPs would be given a vote on a possible extension, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “The answer to that is a simple no.

“We aren’t extending the implementation period. There is no reason whatsoever why we will not secure a deal by that date.

“Both the UK and the EU are committed to reaching a trade agreement by that date and that is what we are going to do.”


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