A Boris Johnson supporter has claimed that the Leave campaigner could delay Brexit again if he becomes prime minister.
Speaking to The Sun, the unnamed Boris-backer said that Mr Johnson may ‘have to’ delay Brexit by a few weeks, after the leading candidate had said that the UK must leave the EU by the October 31st deadline.
The Conservative told the tabloid: “If it is a matter of just a few weeks then why not? But it can’t slip beyond November.”
They added that if a future Prime Minister Johnson does delay Brexit for a third time, he would have to “explain to the country” why.
Mr Johnson reportedly has privately told Tory colleagues that he is considering proroguing (suspending) parliament to stop Remainers forcing a further extension and to ensure a no-deal Brexit if there is no change to the EU-approved deal. The candidate has also gained the confidence of prominent eurosceptics — including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Steve Baker, and Mark Francois — whose red line is leaving on Halloween.
However, in separate report by the right-wing red top last week, a senior Remainer minister had said that they and others were considering backing Boris because they believe the former foreign secretary is “malleable” and is seen as the pro-EU Tories’ “best opportunity” to soften Brexit or push through a second referendum, with the source saying: “Boris will do what is in Boris’s own best interests, as and when the time comes.”
Speaking to The Parliament Magazine on Wednesday, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said that he believes the chances of Brexit being delivered on October 31st under the Conservatives were “pretty low” and that the government would request a further extension that could delay the UK’s exit from the bloc to as far as 2020.
“I do not see this happening under any of the Tory party leadership contenders. I do not think any of them will do it by 31 October,” Mr Farage said.
Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May had pledged 108 times in the House of Commons that the UK would leave the EU on March 29th, 2019 — before delaying Brexit twice.
During his leadership campaign launch on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said that while he will take the UK out of the EU on October 31st “with or without a deal”, he is “not aiming for a no-deal outcome”.
“I don’t think that we will end up with any such thing, but it is only responsible to prepare vigorously and seriously for no deal, indeed it is astonishing that anyone could suggest dispensing with that vital tool of negotiation,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson has recently said that he would consider withholding the £39 billion ‘divorce bill’ agreed between Mrs May and the bloc in order to force Brussels to renegotiate a better exit treaty; however, a number of European bureaucrats and leaders have maintained in the past few months, and in recent weeks, that the only deal available to the UK is the one on the table.
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