Boris Johnson Says Brexit Deadline Must Not Be Seen as 'Phony'

Nellie Chapman
July 14, 2019

Sharing screen space, Boris Johnson, Hunt's rival and the frontrunner in the leadership contest, said the United Kingdom would leave by October 31 "come what may", and that if this did not happen it would lead to "a huge erosion of trust in politics".

With Parliament not sitting, MPs would not be able to block it - for example, by holding a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

"I actually think there's quite a difference between Parliament and the public", May said. "If we get a deal, it will be on or around 31st October but I can't control what Parliament does and that's why I'm being honest with people", he said.

Johnson is favourite to win the contest to take over from Prime Minister Theresa May.

Asked whether he would be prepared to delay by days, weeks or months, Hunt replied: "Well, it's not going to be months".

"If we have a deal, if it's clear to us and to the Europeans there's a deal to be done, then of course I would go for that and if it took a little bit - you know, a few extra days - to get it through parliament".

Johnson has pledged to take Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom out of the European Union by 31 October "deal or no deal" and "do or die". He said: "It's evident that if you have the disruption that comes from a no-deal Brexit there will be people that will lose their jobs". While wishing her successor well, she said she would continue to argue that leaving the European Union "with a good deal" remains vital, in a clear warning against a chaotic no-deal crash out.

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Ms Rudd looked irritated when confronted with a jibe from former Tory colleague Nick Boles, who highlighted her previous criticism of Mr Johnson during the referendum campaign that he was not the kind of person you want to "drive you home".

The British Foreign Office recently announced that its ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, had resigned following the scandal over a leak of the embassy's cables.

"I'm not going to give you those commitments", Mr Hunt said in the BBC interview.

In an interview with the BBC ahead of her departure from Downing Street on 24 July, Mrs May was asked how she thought she would feel when she walks out of the door of Number 10 as prime minister for the last time. "I think this is leading to a huge erosion of trust in politics".

Mrs May said she had underestimated the unwillingness of some people in parliament to compromise to deliver Brexit.

"It had been incredibly frustrating that MPs on either side of the Leave-Remain divide had got so sort of entrenched that they just were not willing to make that compromise that would enable us to get the majority to get this through", May said in a BBC interview in 10 Downing Street on Friday.

"I don't think it will be necessary to do anything like proroguing Parliament", he insisted, but refused to rule it out.

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