December 12, 2019 / 10:11 PM / a month ago

British PM Johnson heads for big Brexit election win

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on course to win Thursday’s election comfortably, giving him the numbers in parliament needed to pass his Brexit divorce deal next month, according to an exit poll on Thursday.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks with his dog Dilyn as he arrives at a polling station, at the Methodist Central Hall, after voting in the general election in London, Britain, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Below is early reaction:

BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER

“At this stage it does look as though this one-nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate, to get Brexit done and not just to get Brexit done but to unite this country and take it forward.”

JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR LEADER

“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” Corbyn said after winning his north London electoral seat.

“I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward and I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

JESS PHILLIPS, LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

“This is not a time for easy answers as much as I wish it was. I wish there was some silver bullet but I also wish I was a size 10 (women’s clothing).”

LAURA PARKER, NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF PRO-CORBYN CAMPAIGN GROUP MOMENTUM

“It’s unquestionable that Labour’s policies are popular. Every poll shows it, and there is absolutely no appetite to go back to the centrist policies of old. But in this election we were squeezed by Brexit and it was the defining issue.”

NIGEL FARAGE, BREXIT PARTY LEADER

“Does it get Brexit done? No. I think we’re going to head into three years of pretty agonizing negotiations.”

GARETH SNELL, LABOUR PARTY CANDIDATE

“It’s a lovely and toxic combination of the fact that the message in Stoke-on-Trent that’s been heard by the voters is that the Labour Party tried to stop Brexit.”

“It would be remiss of me not to mention that Jeremy Corbyn has come up on the doorstep: some people really like him, some people really dislike him, and that has been a turn off.”

Asked if it was time for Corbyn and his finance chief John McDonnell to go, Snell replied: “Yes”.

JAMES SMITH, ING DEVELOPED MARKETS ECONOMIST

“It means the UK is likely to leave the EU smoothly at the end of January. More importantly it will give the prime minister the breathing space to extend the transition period.”

PETER KINSELLA, GLOBAL HEAD OF FX STRATEGY AT UBP

“People who under-owned UK assets for years are going to look at sterling and say now it’s time to get involved.”

JOHN BERCOW, FORMER HOUSE OF COMMONS SPEAKER

“That would be a phenomenal victory for the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson will feel completely vindicated with the gamble that he took. That would be an absolutely dramatic victory.”

BARRY GARDINER, LABOUR PARTY TRADE SPOKESMAN

“If that is the case then obviously it’s a devastating result for us.”

PRITI PATEL, INTERIOR MINISTER

“Getting Brexit done is the priority. The deal is there. It is good to go. We need to move forward. We are not waiting. We want to end this paralysis.”

NAOMI SMITH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE PRO-EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN GROUP BEST FOR BRITAIN

“Let’s be clear: a majority for Boris Johnson tonight would engulf the UK in a fresh crisis. There is no Brexit deal, only an agreement to talk about a deal in the future.”

Compiled by UK Bureau. Editing by William James, Mike Collett-White & Simon Cameron-Moore

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