Boris Johnson vows to deliver Brexit 'do or die' by 31 October

Posted On: 
25th June 2019

Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the European Union by 31 October "do or die".

The Conservative frontrunner also accused Theresa May of creating a "prison" during her time as PM.
Credit: 
TalkRadio

The Conservative leadership frontrunner insisted that he would ensure Brexit happens "come what may" by the autumn deadline - as he mounted an all-out assault on Theresa May's "pathetic" time in office.

In an interview with TalkRadio, the Conservative hopeful said he would put his Brexit plans "into action" on day one of his premiership if he wins the battle to succeed Mrs May.

Jeremy Hunt must win Tory leadership ‘for the good of the country’, warns minister

EU will not put up trade tariffs even under a no deal Brexit, claims Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson admits he would need EU help to get no-deal transition period

"So we are getting ready to come out on 31 October, come what may," he said.

And he added: "Do or die. Come what may."

Asked whether he would resign if Brexit did not happen by the current Hallowe'en deadline, he said: "I think that it follows from everything that I've said that I think politics is at a crossroads in this country and it is fundamental to trust in politics that we come out of the EU."

'MOROSITY AND GLOOM'

Mr Johnson meanwhile used the interview to launch a direct attack on Mrs May's record in government, arguing that the Prime Minister had never "really wanted to come out" of the EU.

"I think a bit of positive energy would help, frankly," he said.

"I've never seen such morosity and gloom from a Government.

"For three years we've been sitting around wrapped in defeatism telling the British public that they can't do this or that.

"It is pathetic, it's absolutely pathetic."

The frontrunner added: "We haven't even really wanted to come out... That's the heart of the problem.

"What we've been doing is we've been creating our own incarcerate, our own prison. The backstop, the customs union and the single market are all basically designed to keep us in."

But Downing Street rejected the characterisation of Mrs May's stint as Prime Minister.

Her official spokesperson said: "She strove very hard for three years to deliver on the will of the British people.

"She voted three times to deliver Brexit, but she was unable to get sufficient support in the House of Commons."

GATT 'PLAN B'

The blast at the current Prime Minister came as Mr Johnson said his controversial proposal to try and rely on a section of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules - known as GATT 24 - to ensure free imports and exports with the bloc carry on under a no-deal Brexit would only amount to a "Plan B".

The frontrunner has been criticised by a string of Cabinet ministers for insisting that smooth trade can continue even if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal.

Mr Johnson said his first preference would be to "get rid of this current Withdrawal Agreement and get the best bits in it" through Parliament.

But he said: "Plan B is to get a standstill, the agreement GATT 24 paragraph 5B type agreement.

"If the EU won't do that and we have to come out on WTO terms then Plan C would be to get ready for that outcome.

"And obviously we're going to do that and it's very, very important that we do.

"And the British people have had enough of being told that they're incapable of getting ready to do this."