Expect medium-term economic growth if Boris Johnson wins: Economist
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his Conservatives are putting their message across in “every seat” as he goes into the final days of the U.K.’s general election campaign. Polls show the Tories on course to win a majority, which would mean Parliament voting to leave the European Union by Jan. 31.
But in the 2017 election, those polls were wrong, and the opposition Labour Party hasn’t given up hope of scuppering Johnson’s bid for a majority. The party’s Treasury spokesman John McDonnell will tell voters on Monday Labour will put “money in your pockets” and “power in your hands” by increasing government spending and regenerating the U.K. outside London.
For more on the election visit ELEC.
- Labour’s John McDonnell gives economy speech in London at 11 a.m.
- Johnson will start the day campaigning in northeast England
- Labour leaderJeremy Corbyn will address a rally in Bristol at 1 p.m.
- The BBC will hold a Question Time debate for an audience of under-30s to be broadcast at 8.30 p.m.
- The chance of a Conservative majority has risen to 80% -- the highest level so far -- according to Betfair
- The pound traded up 0.2%
Johnson: Tories Making Case in ‘Every Seat’ (9 a.m.)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his Conservative party is trying to make the case for power in “every seat” as it seeks a majority in the House of Commons in Thursday’s general election.
In an interview with LBC radio from Grimsby, where the Conservatives are trying to take a seat from Labour, Johnson was asked if he wanted to break through Labour’s so-called red wall of seats in the Midlands and Northern England. “Of course, because we’re a one-nation Conservative Party and we want to make our case everywhere in the country,” Johnson replied.
Johnson’s travels in the final days of the campaign show the party is trying to secure seats that have been Labour preserves for decades, an illustration of how Brexit has changed Britain’s electoral politics.
DUP’s Foster: Johnson Broke His Word (Earlier)
Democratic Unionist Party Leader Arlene Foster said Boris Johnson broke his word on Brexit and suggested she’d struggle to trust him in the future.
“It says more about the person who broke their word than me and the leadership of the unionist party,” Foster told BBC Radio when asked if voters should conclude she’d lost the fight for a Brexit deal that keeps Northern Ireland on the same terms as the rest of the U.K. On the subject of taking Johnson at his word in the future, she said: “Once bitten, twice shy.”
She said contrary to the premier’s assurances, tax officials told her team the Brexit deal would necessitate checks on goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland -- regardless of whether they were destined for Ireland. She said she’d listened to Rishi Sunak on the radio just before her own interview (see earlier). “He very carefully didn’t say that there would be unfettered access” for trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, Foster said.
Minister Sees EU Trade Deal Ready by 2021 (Earlier)
The U.K. will meet its deadline to broker a new trade agreement with the European Union by the end of 2020, meaning there’s no need to prepare for a no-deal exit, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said. He said the outline of the deal is already enshrined in the withdrawal agreement.
“The trade deal, the outlines of it, the framework of it, is already there, contained in the political declaration in quite a lot of detail,” Sunak told BBC radio. “We can go on and sort the details of that over the course of next year.”
He also pushed back against the suggestion that new trade barriers will be put up between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. “The prime minister has been unequivocal,” he said. “There will not be checks, there will be no new barriers to trade.”
McDonnell Challenged by Billionaire Caudwell (Earlier)
Labour’s finance spokesman John McDonnell was challenged in a radio conversation with billionaire Phones4U Co-founder John Caudwell, who accused the main opposition party of “destroying confidence.” Caudwell said he and other wealthy people were likely to leave the country if Labour won Thursday’s election, because of the party’s “destructive” rhetoric.
Labour, Caudwell said, would “create an environment where wealthy people feel like they’re almost pariahs.”
McDonnell replied that Labour was not against entrepreneurs and that all the party wanted to do was create a fair society and end “grotesque” inequality. “We’ve had a lot of discussion about how we redistribute wealth; we need to have a proper discussion about how we create it,” he said.
Swinson Swings Back to People’s Vote (Earlier)
Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said her party is publishing legislation to pave the way to a second referendum on European Union membership so Parliament can act quickly after the election.
“The most likely way we can stop Brexit is through a people’s vote,” Swinson told BBC Radio on Monday. “There’s a much brighter future ahead if we are able to remain in the European Union.”
It’s a change of direction for the Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned on a platform to cancel Brexit altogether -- though Swinson said that remains the policy in the event of a Liberal Democrat majority. She also reiterated she would not support Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, but held out the prospect that in a hung parliament, the Labour leader might change.