Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be Britain’s prime minister, promised he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by Oct. 31, saying that only by preparing to leave without an agreement could a no-deal Brexit be prevented.
Johnson, a former foreign minister and London mayor, is the clear favourite to replace Theresa May. He won the backing of 114 of 313 Conservative lawmakers in a first round of voting on Thursday, almost three times as many as his nearest rival.
The contest has been dominated by the question of how and when Britain will leave the EU, Britain’s biggest political crisis in a generation.
In his first broadcast interview since the campaign started, Johnson gave an unequivocal pledge that Brexit would happen by the latest Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 and Britain had to prepare for a no-deal exit, which he said would not be a disaster.