Boris Johnson promises Brexit vote by Christmas as Conservatives launch manifesto

Johnson, who took over predecessor Theresa May's minority administration in the summer, also vowed to get his new Brexit deal in front of the country's Parliament before Christmas.

He argues the plans would open a "new chapter" in Britain's history, allowing the country to leave the European Union by its current deadline of January 31.

With Britain heading to the polls on December 12, the governing Conservatives rolled out an election manifesto that promised more public sector spending and no further extensions to the protracted departure from the EU.

"As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama", Johnson said in a statement ahead of the launch - but Labour have warned his plan entails years of further trade negotiations with the European Union and the United States.

The Britain Elects poll aggregator put the Conservatives at 42 percent, ahead of the main opposition Labour at 29 percent, the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats at 15 percent, the Brexit Party at 6 percent and the Greens at 3 percent.

"He used to be indecisive - now he's not so sure", Johnson said, in a dig at the veteran socialist.

"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.

Contrasting with Labour's unabashed tax-and-spend approach, Johnson's manifesto - titled "Get Brexit Done, Unleash Britain's Potential" - pledged to freeze income tax, value-added sales tax and social security payments.

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They also seem set to benefit from Nigel Farage's Brexit Party pulling out their candidates from more than 300 seats being defended by the Conservatives. Corbyn himself would stay neutral during the process.

Instead, he promised 23.5 billion pounds ($30.2 billion) worth of "sensible" tax cuts and higher spending, including on the National Health Service which would gain 50,000 nurses.

Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, said the manifesto raised questions about the Conservatives' commitment to fiscal responsibility. It also makes crowd-pleasing gestures like eliminating auto parking charges at hospitals for staff working night shifts, disabled people, those with terminal illnesses and their families.

He also pledged to make the streets safer by recruiting 20,000 police officers.

Earlier in the day, Labour announced a plan to pay compensation to millions of women born in the 1950s who missed out on state pension payouts when David Cameron's government changed the pension age.

"I'm looking forward to sharing our manifesto", Johnson tweeted Saturday.

"Let's go carbon-neutral by 2050 and Corbyn-neutral by Christmas", he said to appreciative chuckles from the crowd.

  • Sonia Alvarado