POLITICS
25/06/2019 11:42 BST | Updated 25/06/2019 12:36 BST

Boris Johnson Categorically Rules Out Delaying Brexit Beyond October 31

Frontrunner in the Tory leadership race says date is "do or die".

Associated Press

Boris Johnson has categorically ruled out extending Article 50 and delaying Brexit should he become prime minister.

In an interview with TalkRadio on Tuesday morning, the frontrunner in the Conservative Party leadership contest said he would take the UK out of the EU on October 31 “come what may” and “do or die”.

Johnson had appeared to avoid a firm commitment to that date in recent comments - including during the first hustings with Tory members on Sunday.

Jeremy Hunt has said while he would be willing to take the UK out of the EU without an agreement on October 31 - it would be a mistake to do so if a deal was close to being reached.

Johnson said today he would use “positive energy” to deliver a Brexit deal.

Asked if he could “categorically rule out an extension” to Article 50, Johnson said: “Yes.”

“It would be up to the prime minister of the day. I have myself to decide under the current terms of the extension that we have, to apply for such an extension. And it is up to the EU to decide whether to grant it.

“At the moment, the law says that the UK is leaving the EU - international treaty law -says the UK is leaving the EU on the 31st of October.”

The Conservative Party confirmed today it would announce the winner of the contest on Tuesday July 23.

The start of Johnson’s campaign has been overshadowed by his refusal to answer questions about his private life.

He has struggled to get back on track since police were called to a late-night row at the home he shares with partner Carrie Symonds.

In an interview with LBC earlier today, Johnson refused to deny a photo released depicting him and Symonds looking happy together had actually been taken before the argument.

And he also dodged questions about whether he knew the photo was going to be handed to the media.

“I am not going to comment on the antiquity or the provenance of some photo,” he said.