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UK's Johnson dodges question over post-election resignation

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:56s

UK's Johnson dodges question over post-election resignation

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday dismissed a leaked government document that the opposition says shows there will be customs declarations and security checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK post-Brexit.

David Doyle reports.

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UK's Johnson dodges question over post-election resignation

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted to nerves over narrowing polls ahead of the UK's election on Thursday (December 12) while dodging a question on whether he'd resign if he fails to secure a majority.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "I'm going to fight for every vote.

(SOPHY RIDGE ASKING: ""IF YOU DON'T GET MAJORITY WILL YOU RESIGN?") If you don't mind, Sophy, what I'm going to do is concentrate on the five days before us, because that is what I think the people of this country would expect." Four opinion polls published on Saturday (December 7) put Johnson's ruling Conservatives between eight and 15 points ahead of the opposition Labour Party.

And while that puts Johnson in pole position, it shows a narrowing of his lead and means he's not far enough ahead to guarantee a win.

Polls have also proved unreliable in recent history, failing to predict the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum or previous prime minister Theresa May's loss of her majority in 2017.

No major poll predicts a win for opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn but he could yet lead a minority government given that few other parties are likely to prop up Johnson's Conservatives.

On Friday (December 6), Corbyn revealed a leaked government document that he said shows that Johnson's divorce deal with the European Union would lead to customs declarations and security checks between Britain and Northern Ireland.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: (SOPHY RIDGE ASKING:"THIS DOCUMENT IS TALKING ABOUT CHECKS BOTH WAYS") And that's wrong because there won't be checks.

(SOPHY RIDGE ASKING: "SO YOU'RE SAYING THAT THIS IS WRONG, THE GOVERNMENT'S OWN IMPACT ASSESSMENT IS WRONG, YOUR BREXIT SECRETARY IS WRONG, ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE WRONG AND YOU ARE RIGHT?") Yes, because there's no question of there being checks on goods going NI-GB or GB-NI." Johnson, who has faced questions over whether or not he can be trusted, has repeatedly said his deal would create no barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

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