The Conservative leadership hopeful revealed that unless a better deal was on the table, the UK would retain the Brexit divorce bill until there was greater clarity on the way forward in negotiations. Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: “I think our friends and partners need to understand that the money is going to be retained until such time as we have greater clarity about the way forward.
“I always thought it was extraordinary that we should agree to write that entire cheque before having a final deal. In getting a good deal, money is a great solvent and a great lubricant.
Mr Johnson campaigned for the official Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU Referendum and in recent days has faced off a private prosecution for his promise that the UK sends £350 million a day to the EU, claims that were later found to be false.
But, the former Foreign Secretary said he feels a sense of personal responsibility for delivering on the will of the British people.
He added: “I have a deep sense of personal frustration at the way the most important project in our lifetimes has been going.”
Mr Johnson said the nation owed outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May “a huge debt” but picked apart her Brexit policies, promising to scrap the backstop and tear up the Withdrawal Agreement. He confirmed that he would look to change the negotiating team and would be taking a “personal direction to negotiations”
Conservative support dropped during last month’s EU election campaign where the party scored their worst ever nation-wide election result.
The Tories also lost out heavily in Peterborough, dropping to third place in the polls below Labour and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party as Brexiteer Conservatives switched allegiances.
Much of this was due to public anger directed at the Conservatives for failing to deal with Britain’s departure from the EU. The former Foreign Secretary has fired a warning shot, claiming that both main parties face an “existential threat” and that failure to deliver Brexit would lead to party’s paying a “very heavy price”.
The favourite to win the leadership contest also attacked Conservative colleagues who wished to delay the process.
He said: “My message to all colleagues who are thinking of elaborate manoeuvres to frustrate this, is that they really need to think about their democratic duty.”
Mr Johnson claims that he is the “only” candidate that can steer the nation away from Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn.
He joins Tory leadership candidates Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom in promising to leave the EU with or without a deal in October, confirming that no deal preparations are being stepped up and that people must be ready for some “disruption”.
He added: “My duty will be to get our country ready for the very, very small possibility of coming out without a deal on WTO terms. It is only by being ready to deliver it that you will get the deal that we need.”
Boris Johnson is the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip and served as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.