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

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson gestures during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London Wednesday

He insisted, however, that it was possible to get a revised deal with Brussels by the end of September, and said if it took "a few extra days" to get it through Parliament he would delay Brexit beyond the current October 31 deadline.

"You know if you become less efficient and your ability to trade is impeded then, of course, losing your competitiveness means that there will be jobs that will be lost".

But he again refused to rule out such a radical step, even though former prime minister John Major and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond have said they'd be prepared to take legal action to prevent that course of action.

"Boris is now promising everybody we'll leave on the 31st of October".

"I think, somehow, Alex, much as I love the US, much as it would be a dream job for me in many ways, I'm afraid I've got to stick around in case they drop the ball again".

However he came under pressure for his comments over Britain's ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch in the row over the leak of his diplomatic dispatches.

The question of suspending parliament was raised during a televised debate between Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, on Tuesday evening.

Mr Johnson's lack of explicit support for the envoy in Tuesday's TV leadership debate following a tirade of abuse from US President Donald Trump was widely seen as the final straw in his decision to quit.

Furious Tory MPs accused the former foreign secretary, who is favourite to succeed Theresa May, of throwing Mr Darroch "under a bus", leaving him no option but to resign.

The veteran MEP noted that Theresa May still has a couple of weeks left before her premiership is expected to terminate, and that she could "as a parting gift, still appoint a new ambassador who might be perfectly very bad like Sir Kim Darroch", but that if the decision does fall to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson does make the offer, he might not be able to accept it.

In a swipe at his Mr Johnson, Mr Hunt said he would deliver Brexit "more quickly than the alternative".

Diane James: I don't think that the European Union has yet capitulated completely and said they will allow another extension, that's still something that is like a card up their sleeves.

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons.

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. But also a degree of disappointment because there was more that I wanted to do.

"I actually think there's quite a difference between Parliament and the public", she said.

"A no-deal Brexit would be enormously damaging and I will do everything I can to persuade my colleagues to avoid that and get a good deal".

Nicola Lowery said it was important the next PM delivers a "collective vision" in parliament, and that Johnson was the man to do it.

"She said that people who'd spent their lives campaigning for Brexit would vote to get us out", she said.

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