September 5, 2019 / 11:07 PM / 15 days ago

Johnson visits Scotland as electioneering begins early

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he makes a speech during a visit to West Yorkshire, Britain September 5, 2019. Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson travels to Scotland on Friday, announcing an increase in funding for farming as he continues to promote higher public spending ahead of an expected election.

With less than two months until Britain leaves the European Union, Johnson has challenged his political opponents to an election, arguing that the public should get to decide whose Brexit plan they wish to back.

The main opposition Labour Party has so far refused to agree to a vote, saying they need assurances first that Britain will not leave the EU without an exit deal on Oct. 31. Johnson says Britain must leave on that day with or without a deal.

Since taking office in July, Johnson has mounted a de-facto election campaign, promoting policing, education and other domestic policies. On Wednesday, his finance minister announced increased spending plans that he said would end a decade of public funding cuts.

In Aberdeenshire, Johnson will promote a 211 million pound funding increase for Scottish farmers as part of plans to balance out disparities in public spending on agriculture across the whole of Britain.

On Monday, he will ask for the second time in parliament for an election, but it remains unclear whether Labour will change their position to back the move. Johnson wants the election to take place on Oct. 15.

Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison

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