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Brexit delay means defeat: Boris Johnson

Reuters London | Updated on June 12, 2019 Published on June 12, 2019

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson at the launch of his campaign in London on Wednesday   -  HENRY NICHOLLS

Leading candidate for PM says they’ll lose supporters with every delay

Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to be Britain’s next Prime Minister, laid out his pitch to win the leadership race in the ruling Conservative Party on Wednesday.

He said, “We will simply not get a result if we give the impression that we want more delay... Delay means defeat, delay means ruin, kick the can again and we kick the bucket.”

He added, “With every week that goes by in which we fail to deliver on our promise, we will further alienate not just our natural supporters, driving them into the arms of insurgent parties, but anyone who believes that politicians should deliver on their promises.”

On no-deal Brexit

Johnson added, “I am 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 a no-deal. Indeed it is astonishing that anyone could suggest dispensing with that vital tool in the negotiation.”

He asserted, “The best way to avoid a disorderly Brexit is to make the preparations now that will enable us to leave in a managed way if we have to. But above all if we make the preparations now we will carry the conviction with our friends and partners that we are able to make such an exit if we really have to, if we have to go down that route, which would be a last resort, not something that anybody desires, as our last option.”

Mood in Britain

“It is almost as if the commercial dynamism of the British people is insulating them from the crisis in our politics and yet we cannot ignore the morass of Westminster,” he said.

Johnson said, “Around the country there is a feeling of disillusion and even despair at our ability to get things done. The longer it goes on, the worse the risk that there will be serious contamination and a real loss of confidence.”

Published on June 12, 2019
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