Highlights: Boris Johnson says delay means defeat on Brexit

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

At Wednesday's launch, the former foreign secretary - who quit over Theresa May's Brexit policy last summer - will suggest that he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by the revised deadline of 31 October, come what may.

Starmer said MPs were forced to act because of suggestions from leadership candidates including Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab that the United Kingdom will leave - come what may - on 31 October, with Raab even suggesting he would be prepared to prorogue parliament to stop MPs efforts to thwart no deal.

Johnson said a no-deal Brexit was a last resort but the best way to avoid that outcome was to prepare for it.

For many, the contest for prime minister is Johnson's to lose - he has the most declared Conservative supporters in parliament and is widely popular among the party's members, the people who will ultimately choose May's successor.

"I think there will be a symmetrical enthusiasm on the other side of the Channel about getting this thing done and moving forward", Johnson said airily.

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Meanwhile, there was anger among Brexiteers at the latest move by MPs opposed to no-deal to seize control of Commons business from the Government.

Tory MPs who have said they will back the plan include Antoinette Sandbach, Dominic Grieve, Sam Gyimah, Jonathan Djanogly and the ex-Conservative Nick Boles, who has flown back to the United Kingdom specifically to vote on the motion.

Opposition legislators fear a pro-Brexit prime minister could even suspend Parliament to force a no-deal exit.

"I have the background, ideas and positive vision for the future [to] keep Jeremy Corbyn far away from 10 Downing Street", he said.

He said Labour would continue to work to find parliamentary mechanisms to ensure whoever succeeds Theresa May could not simply leave with no-deal in the autumn.

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Johnson has said that he will deliver on the result with or without a Brussels deal.

At his launch Mr Johnson was also pressed by journalists on his use of language - including when he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column that Muslim women wearing the burka looked like "letterboxes".

"They would have to come back to Parliament and get the consent of MPs".

He refused to be drawn on the topic of drugs, which have become a campaign issue after rival Michael Gove was forced to admit he had taken cocaine 20 years ago when he was a journalist.

Mr Johnson said: "I think what most people in this country want us to really focus on in this campaign, if I may say so, is what we can do for them and what our plans are for this great country of ours".

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