Europe

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn go head-to-head in testy debate

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour's Jeremy Corbyn have clashed over Brexit in a leadership debate.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to take the UK out of the European Union by January 31 and secure a new trade deal by the end of next year, pressing home his message that only he can deliver Brexit quickly.

In a testy debate with opposition Labour's Jeremy Corbyn before a December 12 election, Britain's departure from the EU dominated the opening exchanges when both leaders trying to cast doubt over the other's pledges.

"We certainly will come out on January the 31st, because we have a deal ... that is oven ready," Mr Johnson said in the debate, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, broadcast by ITV.

Mr Johnson is promising to implement the exit deal he negotiated with Brussels and lead Britain out of the EU within months.

Mr Corbyn wants to negotiate a new exit deal and put it to a referendum within six months alongside the option to remain in the bloc. Mr Corbyn said during the debate he would honour whatever the result of that vote was.

Polls put Mr Johnson's Conservatives as much as 18 percentage points ahead of Labour, but the election is difficult to call because of pacts and alliances on both sides of the Brexit debate and voters' deteriorating traditional allegiances.

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