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Johnson pledges transformative Brexit as nerves are rattled by UK polls

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was nervous about his narrowing lead in opinion polls ahead of Thursday’s election but pledged to deliver a “transformative” Brexit that will allow lower immigration.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the launch of a general campaign poster at the Kent Showground in Detling, Kent, Britain, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool

The Dec. 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world’s fifth-largest economy with a stark choice between Johnson’s pro-market Conservatives and the socialist-led opposition Labour Party.

“Brexit is the most radical and profound change to the management of this country,” Johnson told Sky, adding that he would lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union on Jan. 31 if he wins a majority in the 650-seat parliament.

“Brexit is indispensable – you can’t move forward without Brexit,” said Johnson, the face of the leave campaign in the 2016 referendum before winning the top job in July after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to deliver Brexit on time.

Johnson called the snap election after more than three years of political crisis over the United Kingdom’s most significant geopolitical move since World War Two.

Voting takes place from 0700 and 2200 GMT on Thursday, with Johnson likely to need more than 320 seats to ensure he can remain prime minister and ratify the Brexit deal he struck with the EU in October.

Opinion polls put Johnson ahead of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, though his lead has narrowed in recent weeks and such polls largely failed to predict the 2016 referendum result or May’s loss of her majority in the 2017 snap election.

Asked if he was nervous about narrowing polls,

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