Boris Johnson says Brexit will happen on 31 October 'deal or no deal' if he becomes PM

Posted On: 
24th May 2019

Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the EU “deal or no deal” at the end of October if he becomes Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson has announced his candidacy for the Tory leadership
PA Images

The frontrunner to succeed Theresa May said the only way to secure a solid agreement with Brussels was to “prepare for no-deal”.

The comments could spark alarm among Tory MPs who have voiced concern at ushering in a new Prime Minister who might take the country out of the bloc without an agreement with the EU in place.

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Business leaders have also spoken out about the need to avoid a no-deal exit and the damage it could do to the British economy.

Mr Johnson's remarks came just hours after Mrs May announced she would quit as Tory leader on 7 June, with a successor set to take over in Downing Street towards the end of July.

Speaking at an economics conference in Switzerland, the former Foreign Secretary said: “A new leader will have the opportunity to do things differently and have the momentum of a new administration..

“We will leave the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal. The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal.”

Just last week more than 30 Tory MPs said they would fight against any leadership candidate who is prepared to take the UK out of the EU with no no withdrawal agreement in place.

It means Mr Johnson might have trouble courting those MPs in the crucial parliamentary stages of the Conservative leadership race.

He announced last week that he would be throwing his hat into the ring for the top job, saying: "Of course I'm going to go for it."

Britain was originally meant to leave the EU on 29 March but Mrs May begged Brussels for an extension when Parliament refused to back her deal.

She made the humiliating move despite previously vowing that "no deal is better than a bad deal".