British politician Boris Johnson launched his bid to replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, insisting Brexit has to be delivered by 31 October with or without an exit deal.
“If I get in we'll come out, deal or no deal, on October the 31st,” he asserted in a campaign video released on Twitter, the timing of which could hardly be accidental.
Johnson released the video on social media just as US President Donald Trump, who gave Johnson tacit endorsement over the weekend, stepped off Air Force One, beginning his three-day state visit to the UK.
Earlier, Donald Trump backed Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister, saying in an interview with the Sun: “I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.”
When asked if he planned to meet Boris Johnson during the UK trip, Trump responded: “Well, I think I may meet with him. He’s been a friend of mine. He’s been very nice. I have a very good relationship with him.”
In the just-released campaign video, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership race is seen conversing with people from ethnically diverse backgrounds and voters across the political divide, emphasising the need to unite the country.
These exact sentiments were echoed in Johnson’s opinion piece for The Telegraph, in which he wrote: “It is an extraordinary fact that this country is forecast in our lifetimes to become the largest and most prosperous economy in this hemisphere.
“If there is one lesson from the Brexit vote of 2016, it is that there are towns and communities around this amazing country that feel left behind – shut out from those opportunities and that success,” the PM hopeful added.
“That is why our mission must now be not just to come out of the EU, and do it properly, as the people requested; but also to level up, to bridge that gap, and to unleash the talents of the entire nation. Now is the time to unite our country, and to unite our society.”
Boris Johnson went on to emphasise the urgent need to tackle educational disparities as a means of resolving some of the country’s outstanding issues. “…one fundamental factor that determines whether you will have the freedom and the sheer confidence to make the most of your talents – and that is your education.
"It is absurd that employers have been driven to import so much skilled labour from abroad, largely because of the failures of vocational training in this country.
“If we can find the potential for excellence that exists in every school in the country, then we can double or treble the range and inventiveness of the UK,” stated Boris Johnson.