UK will have time to strike trade deals after Brexit - Johnson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn face each other in a head-to-head debate on the BBC in London, Britain December 6, 2019. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS

MAIDSTONE, England (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that Britain would have enough time to strike an agreement with the European Union about future trade ties, and reach similar deals with other countries, after its scheduled departure from the EU on Jan. 31.

“We have ample time to get on and build a new free trade partnership, not just with the EU but with countries around the world,” Johnson said in a BBC television debate with opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ahead of a Dec. 12 election.

Corbyn said Johnson’s plan to negotiate a trade deal with the United States would take seven years.

(This story has been refiled to add dropped word in second paragraph)

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan,; Writing by William Schomberg, Editing by Paul Sandle