Boris Johnson ‘will get UK match fit for no deal’
Tory leadership favourite repeats pledge to leave EU by Halloween
Boris Johnson has pledged to get the UK “match fit for no deal” as he repeated his pledge to leave the European Union on 31 October “come what may”.
Writing on the BrexitCentral website, the Conservative leadership favourite said there would be “no second chances” and insisted the Halloween deadline was “not fake”.
The Guardian says the comment was aimed at his rival, Jeremy Hunt, who has referred to 31 October as a “fake deadline”.
Johnson wrote: “We need a change of direction. That’s why we must treat October 31 as a real deadline for leaving the EU, come what may, not a fake one.”
He repeated his promise to protect the rights of EU expats in the UK and to place the £39bn divorce settlement in a state of “creative ambiguity” for use as leverage to close a deal.
Speaking of future negotiations with Brussels, he said: “If our friends feel they cannot agree, then we will be match fit for no deal.”
His latest broadside comes after he was warned that more than 30 Tory MPs could rebel to block a no-deal Brexit if he tried to force it through Parliament.
Johnson refuses to rule out proroguing parliament, only going so far as to say that he was not “attracted” to the idea. Yesterday, he added that he was not “remotely aiming for a no-deal outcome”, saying: “That’s not where I think we will end up.”
Sam Gyimah, a former minister and one of the original Tory leadership contenders, told The Times that “30-plus” Conservative MPs were exploring legislative options to prevent a no-deal exit and examining ways to stop the next prime minister from suspending parliament.
Barry Gardiner, Labour’s shadow international trade secretary, has told Sky News that his party was having conversations with Tory MPs about a potential no-confidence motion in the government to block a no-deal exit.