His comments appear to be a swipe at his sole remaining rival Jeremy Hunt, who referred to 31st October as a “fake deadline”. The comment caused controversy, and he was forced to clarify he actually meant Johnson’s commitment to leave on that date was a “fake promise”.
Conservative leadership front-runner Boris Johnson has pledged to get the UK “match fit for no deal” to ensure it can leave the EU on 31st October “come what may” in an op-ed published on the Brexit Central website.
The Conservative leadership frontrunner said there would be “no second chances”, stressing the Halloween deadline was “not fake” and would be adhered to. Johnson’s enduring commitment to upholding the Brexit deadline comes after he was warned over 30 Conservative MPs could rebel to block a no-deal Brexit if he tried to force it through parliament.
“In so far as our wishes have appeared unclear in the past, our friends will quickly see where things stand. The no-brainer of protecting citizens’ rights, putting the £39 billion into a state of creative ambiguity and moving discussions about the Irish border to their proper place: our future trading relationship. If our friends feel they cannot agree, then we will be match fit for No Deal,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson pledged that in the event of a no deal departure, the UK would have the “fiscal firepower” to provide cash to support business and farmers affected. He also signalled the UK would be prepared to rescind regulations on business and significantly reduce taxes, as he he’d “had enough of being told…the sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself and go forward in the world”.
“I feel a deep sense of personal responsibility for Brexit and that’s why I am the one to see it through. This is it. No second chances. We can choose more of the same, or we can choose change: delivering Brexit on 31st October, uniting the country and beating Corbyn,” he concluded.
It’s just the latest indication Johnson, for decades Britain’s most prominent ‘Euroskeptic’ and advocate of seceding from the bloc, will stop at nothing to achieve Brexit. He has previously refused to rule out ‘proroguing’ parliament – ie suspending the UK’s legislature – should MPs attempt to block Brexit.
The controversial strategy is popular with many ‘leavers’ given parliament has repeatedly voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, leading to the Brexit withdrawal date – originally slated to be 29th March – being pushed back seven months.