Former UK foreign secretary and ex-London mayor Boris Johnson, a favourite to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, will commit Wednesday to taking Britain out of the European Union on 31 October, issuing a warning to governing Conservatives that “delay means defeat” at a campaign launch.
“After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31,” he will say, according to extracts from his speech published by media.
“We simply will not get a result if we give the slightest hint that we want to go on kicking the can down the road with yet more delay. Delay means defeat. Delay means Corbyn. Kick the can and we kick the bucket.”
“We cannot let them (Corbyn's Labour) anywhere near Downing Street and I would remind you that the last time I faced an emanation of that Marxist cabal I defeated him when the Conservatives were 17 points behind in London,” he will say on Wednesday, referring to his victory as the capital's mayor in 2008.
“And we can do it again.”
The essence of Johnson's message is that any more Brexit delays and the Conservative Party risks opening the door to a government led by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the campaign to exit the EU almost three years ago, has adopted a tough stance that the UK will leave at the end of October, deal or no deal.
Pressing ahead with the compelling argument that only he can save the Conservative Party, and upset with the government's failure to deliver Brexit on time, the former foreign secretary has enlisted the support of many in his party’s ranks.
Johnson reportedly boasts the most declared Conservative supporters in parliament and is widely popular among the party's members, those who will ultimately choose the successor to Theresa May.
All 312 Conservative MPs - including caretaker Prime Minister Theresa May - will be voting in the first round on Thursday.
Many of the contenders claim they will pull Britain out of the EU without a deal if one has not been secured before the Halloween deadline.
After almost three years since the vote to leave the EU, with parliament rejecting the divorce deal negotiated with the EU on three occasions, Britain is still in the dark as to how, when or if Brexit will happen.