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'Get Brexit Done' will be Boris Johnson's December 12 poll pitch


Press Trust of India London
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went into unofficial campaign mode with a "Get Brexit Done" message from Wednesday, a day after British MPs backed his bill for December 12 general election.
Addressing his final Prime Minister's Questions session before Parliament is dissolved next week ahead of the poll, Johnson went head to head with Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn as he accused the Opposition of "drift and dither" and blamed them for the delayed Brexit deadline from this Thursday to January 31, 2020.
"That is the future. Drift and dither under the Labour Party or taking the country forward to a brighter future under the Conservatives. That is the choice the country faces," he said, adding that Corbyn's "flip-flopping" over Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) would lead to more years of "toxic, tedious" lethargy.
Corbyn retaliated by accusing the Conservative Party government of severe cuts to the country's health service and said the election offered a "stark choice" for the electorate to vote for a change.
"The choice at this election cannot be clearer. People have the choice to vote for the real change after years of Conservative and Lib Dem cuts, privatisation and tax handouts for the richest," said Corbyn, who had withdrawn his party's objection to a December election after the threat of a no-deal crash-out Brexit was removed once the EU agreed a three-month extension to the October 31 deadline earlier this week.
"I think it's time for the country to come together, get Brexit done and go forward," Johnson told reporters soon after winning his election bid in the House of Commons with 438 votes to 20 on Tuesday night.
The simple legislation calling for a December 12 general election cleared by MPs is now on its way through the House of Lords, a process that is expected to go through fairly smoothly, before moving on for Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II to become law.
Meanwhile, the UK's Electoral Commission announced a deadline of November 26 for people to register to vote on December 12, the first pre-Christmas election to be held in the UK since 1923.
A general election was not due until 2022 under the UK's Fixed Term Parliaments Act, making it incumbent upon the UK PM to seek the support of MPs for his call for a snap poll to try and boost his party's mandate and get his Brexit agenda through.
The battle lines are now being drawn for the rare peak winter election, with the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats vowing to elect a government that can stop a damaging UK exit from the EU. On the other end of the spectrum, the far-right Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage says it relishes the early election because "Brexit now has a chance to succeed".

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 11:10 PM IST

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