Mr Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, has insisted if he wins the Tory leadership election against Jeremy Hunt, he will attempt to renegotiate Britain’s withdrawal agreement and also prepare for leaving without a deal on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms if a better deal cannot be reached with Brussels. With now eliminated leadership contender Dominic Raab suggesting he would be prepared to suspend Parliament if he could not get support for no deal, several leadership candidates had dismissed the idea as undemocratic. And in an interview with Daily Mail, Mr Johnson also played down the suggestion: “I’m not attracted to archaic political devices, I would prefer to see our friends around the chamber recognise – and I think they do – that it’s our job now to get this thing done.”
The former Mayor of London also said it was unlikely he would be unable to get a deal: “I think we will get a much more commonsensical or practical arrangement than the current withdrawal agreement which is fatally flawed.”
Having previously warned the party that their future was in the line if they failed to deliver Brexit on October 31, more than three years on from the referendum, he reiterated getting Brexit done would help the Tories recover: “That’s the way to restore trust and confidence to politics, end the uncertainty for business, allow everyone to breathe again.
“And it will give us, the Conservatives, a moment really to relaunch ourselves with a vision for modern Conservatism that is exciting, that is about wealth creation, but also about fantastic public services and infrastructure.”
Mr Hunt had previously suggested he may resign if Britain is unable to deliver Brexit but has said he would be prepared to agree to further delays, if a better deal was only a few days away.
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He did admit, that if Mr Johnson or Mr Hunt failed to bring success, they may well beat the 119 days of Tory Prime Minister George Canning.
Mr Canning’s death just four months into his tenure in 1827 makes him the shortest serving British Prime Minister.
His successor FJ Robinson, 1st Viscount Godreich was the second shortest serving PM at 130 days after King George IV lost confidence in his government and he resigned to be replaced by The Duke of Wellington.
The Daily Mail reported that “three times Mr Johnson deflected the question” when asked if he would resign if the United Kingdom was still an EU member on November 1.
But he reiterated his earlier rhetoric: “Unless we get it done, we die not in the literal sense but actually we will face a slow political extinction. That’s the reality and I think people understand that.
“I think people are so fed up with this discussion they just want to move on. I don’t want to sound over optimistic but I am very full of confidence we’re going to get this done.”
Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson will face off in a ballot of the 160,000 party members.
The result is expected July 23.