TELFORD, England — Boris Johnson launched the British Conservative party’s manifesto Sunday with a promise to put his Brexit deal to parliament by Christmas.
The party has made its pledge to “get Brexit done” front and center of its election pitch ahead of the ballot next month, while laying out plans to increase spending on health, policing and education.
At a party event to announce the manifesto, Johnson said he would “end the acrimony and the chaos” over Brexit, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threatens to rip up the current deal, negotiate a new one within three months and put it to a referendum.
“We don’t even know if anybody believes in Mr. Corbyn’s new deal apart from Mr. Corbyn,” the prime minister said in a speech. “I don’t want to waste 2020 in two more referendums.”
“If we’re lucky enough to be returned with a working majority on December 13, we have this deal ready to go; it is ‘just add water,’” Johnson said. “We can then get the whole thing completed in a matter of days if not weeks, and we’re out by January 31.”
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The manifesto rules out any extension of the Brexit transition period past December 2020, meaning that the U.K. would have to negotiate a new trading relationship with the EU by then or else leave with no deal.
“We want to honor the democratic processes of this country,” Johnson said. “We want to focus on the priorities of the British people, above all the NHS and the cost of living.”
According to the manifesto’s costings document, annual current spending under the Conservatives would rise by £3 billion by 2024, compared with more than £80 billion for Labour.
The manifesto includes plans to recruit 50,000 more nurses, spend £1 billion on childcare and £6.3 billion on efficiency measures to cut fuel bills in 2.2 million homes.
The Conservatives have pledged not to increase the rates of either income tax, National Insurance or VAT in the next five years.
“We believe that after three and a half years of being held back by a broken parliament, it is time to unleash the potential of the whole country and to forge a new Britain,” Johnson said.
The manifesto said a Tory government would ban the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries in order to reduce the environmental impact on the oceans and developing countries that do not have the capacity to process it.
The party has refrained from publishing a social care policy after an attempt to do so in 2017 by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, derailed her campaign. Instead, it said it would develop an approach by working with opposition parties.
Asked about the Conservative party press office changing the name of its Twitter account to “FactCheckUK” during an ITV election debate last week, Johnson said: “I’m afraid the Twittersphere is not really my province. I’m informed Labour has some sort of operation which is very similar to this.”
The Tories were accused of undermining trust in politics with the stunt.
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