June 14, 2019 / 12:45 PM / a month ago

'We've got to be out by October 31' - PM race favourite Johnson makes Brexit vow

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson gestures as he talks during the launch of his campaign in London, Britain June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Boris Johnson, front-runner in the race to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister, vowed that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union, saying that only by preparing to leave without agreement could a no-deal Brexit be prevented.

Johnson said he was not aiming for a no-deal EU divorce but such a scenario would not be a disaster.

“It needs to happen by October 31, and we need to get on and do it,” he told BBC radio. “All those who say that we should delay ... I think they risk doing terminal damage to trust in politics. We have to get on and do this. We’ve got to be out by October 31.”

He also said the issue of the so-called Irish backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return of border controls between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, could be solved by having goods checks away from the border.

Reporting by Michael Holden and Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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