The UK’s Boris Johnson on Wednesday launched his official campaign to take over the leadership of the Conservative Party and succeed prime minister Theresa May.
For their part, opposition MPs supported by some conservatives will ask Parliament to set aside time for a fresh debate concerning the prospect of an abrupt exit from the European Union, something they want off the table.
This is however an issue for which the former foreign secretary – the favourite out of ten candidates to be Tory party leader – has said he is ready.
Theresa May resigned as party head after failing to implement Brexit.
She has twice asked Brussels to delay the divorce, now set for October 31 at the latest, after seeing Parliament reject the plan she agreed with European leaders three times.
If he is chosen as Tory head and then becomes prime minister, Johnson intends to renegociate the agreement. But if he does not succeed, he has given assurances the United Kingdom would leave the EU on October 31, “deal or no deal.”
“A delay means defeat. A delay means Corbyn,” he declared in reference to the leader of the Labour opposition Jeremy Corbyn.
“The debate among conservatives over Brexit has become disturbing, ridiculous and foolhardy,” Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman considered.
“We cannot limit ourselves to being spectators while the next prime minister is pushing for a no-deal plus without the consent of the British people,” he added.
The MPs’ request on Wednesday aims to set aside time in the parliamentary agenda to allow them to introduce, on June 25, a text that could, if adopted, prevent the implementation of a Brexit without an agreement.
Johnson, the former mayor of London, was one of the main architects of the 2016 referendum victory, when 52% decided to take the United Kingdom out of the EU.
Clever and charismatic, he is the preferred candidate of conservative party rank-and-file members but is less popular among his peers, who point to his blunders and a certain amateurishness.