Boris Johnson kicks off bid to be British prime minister

Erika Holt
June 13, 2019

Labour said if the motion passes: "MPs will have the chance to introduce measures, including legislation, that could help avoid a no-deal Brexit at the end of October".

Many economists have argued a no-deal Brexit would cause economic turmoil and plunge Britain into recession.

Boris Johnson gestures as he talks during the launch of his campaign in London.

He will say his two election victories as London mayor mark him out as the person most able to beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour said that if passed, the motion, though binding, would not in itself legislate to prevent a no-deal.

"With every week and month that goes by in which we fail to deliver on our promise I am afraid we will further alienate not just our natural supporters but anyone who believes that politicians should deliver on their promises".

Gareth Snell said he should have backed the agreement when it was put before the Commons for a third time, adding he would support a deal in future.

"I am not aiming for a no-deal outcome", said Mr Johnson, a 54-year-old former foreign minister.

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Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats and hopeful to succeed Vince Cable as leader, blasted MPs for "putting party loyalty ahead of national interest" by rejecting the bill.

And fellow contender Michael Gove has said he refused to rule out the possibility of a no deal. "Labour stands ready to use whatever mechanism it can to protect jobs, the economy and communities from the disastrous consequences of a no deal Brexit", Starmer said in a statement.

He insisted the government must deliver the decision of the British people who voted to leave the European Union, and Britain must leave on October 31, the deadline set by Brussels.

Mr Johnson insisted he wanted a "sensible, orderly" departure from the European Union but said the country had to be ready for a no-deal Brexit if it was to get the terms it needed from Brussels.

Asked if he could be trusted, Mr Johnson said he could.

"The canonical account of this event when I was 19 has appeared many many times and I think what most people in this country really want us to focus on in this campaign is what we can do for them", he said.

Questioned on his trustworthiness, using cocaine and breaking laws, Johnson's performance was marked by less-than-usual wit, jokes and the use of rarely used words - it was "spectacularly dull", as some called it - but he came out flying, answering potentially embarrassing questions.

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