Johnson says he is optimistic over medium term, despite looming lockdown

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson wearing a face mask as he leaves Downing Street, after new nationwide restrictions were announced during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, November 4, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said he was optimistic about the country’s longer term prospects despite the coronavirus pandemic presenting grave short-term problems.

“While I am more optimistic now ... about the medium- and long-term future than I have been for many months, there can be no doubt that the situation before us today is grave, and the need for action acute,” Johnson said in a debate about whether to introduce a month-long national lockdown.

Reporting by William James, Editing by Paul Sandle