Boris Johnson: I’ll make UK ‘match fit’ for no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson has pledged to get the UK “match fit for no deal” to ensure it can leave the EU on 31 October “come what may”.

The Conservative leadership frontrunner said there would be “no second chances” as he stressed that the Halloween deadline was real, “not fake”, in a comment aimed at his rival Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson’s commitment to stick to the deadline comes after he was warned that more than 30 Tories could rebel to block a no-deal Brexit if he tried to force it through parliament.

Writing on the BrexitCentral website, Johnson took aim at Hunt, who referred to 31 October as a “fake deadline”, before later admitting he should have described his rival’s commitment to leave on that date as a “fake promise”.

Johnson said: “We need a change of direction. That’s why we must treat 31 October as a real deadline for leaving the EU, come what may, not a fake one.”

Conservative MP and leadership contender Boris Johnson visits BAE Systems Naval facility in Glasgow, Scotland on July 5, 2109. (Photo by Robert Perry / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROBERT PERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Conservative MP and leadership contender Boris Johnson visits BAE Systems Naval facility in Glasgow, Scotland on July 5, 2109. (Photo by Robert Perry / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBERT PERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

He restated his promise to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and to put the £39bn divorce settlement in a state of “creative ambiguity” to use as leverage to secure another deal.

Under his plan, discussions about the thorny issue of the Irish border would be put into the talks on the future trading relationship. “If our friends feel they cannot agree, then we will be match fit for no deal,” he said.

PERTH, SCOTLAND - JULY 05: Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson greets supporters ahead of the Scottish Hustings on July 5, 2019 in Perth, Scotland. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the final two MPs left in the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party. The winner will be announced on July 23rd 2019 and will also take up the post of Prime Minister of the UK and Northern Ireland.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

© 2019 Getty Images PERTH, SCOTLAND – JULY 05: Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson greets supporters ahead of the Scottish Hustings on July 5, 2019 in Perth, Scotland. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the final two MPs left in the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party. The winner will be announced on July 23rd 2019 and will also take up the post of Prime Minister of the UK and Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The UK would have the “fiscal firepower” to provide cash to support business and farmers affected by a no-deal Brexit.

A combination pictures shows Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, leadership candidates for Britain's Conservative Party, attending a hustings event in Cardiff, Wales, Britain, July 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

© Thomson Reuters A combination pictures shows Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, leadership candidates for Britain’s Conservative Party, attending a hustings event in Cardiff, Wales, Britain, July 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Johnson also signalled that the UK would be prepared to tear up red tape and slash taxes. “We will be free to substantially diverge on tax and regulation,” he said. “I have had enough of being told that we cannot do it – that the sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself and go forward in the world.”

GUISBOROUGH, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson meets a member of the public as he campaigns on July 05, 2019 in Guisborough, England. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the final two MPs left in the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party. The winner will be announced on July 23rd 2019 and will also take up the post of Prime Minister of the UK and Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

© 2019 Getty Images GUISBOROUGH, ENGLAND – JULY 05: Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson meets a member of the public as he campaigns on July 05, 2019 in Guisborough, England. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the final two MPs left in the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party. The winner will be announced on July 23rd 2019 and will also take up the post of Prime Minister of the UK and Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Johnson, the frontman for the Vote Leave campaign, said he felt a “deep sense of personal responsibility for Brexit”, adding: “This is it. No second chances.

“We can choose more of the same, or we can choose change: delivering Brexit on 31 October, uniting the country and beating [Jeremy] Corbyn.”

Source: Theguardian.com

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