'Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here'- Boris Johnson pledges to secure new Brexit deal in first speech as prime minister
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is convinced he can do a Brexit deal to resolve the issue of the Irish border, saying "never mind the backstop, the buck stops here".
Mr Johnson, giving his first speech as prime minister, said that he will succeed in delivering Brexit by the Halloween deadline "no ifs or buts".
"The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy," he said.
"And we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31 no ifs or buts.
"And we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.
"I have every confidence that in 99 days time we will have cracked it.
"But you know what we aren't going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting.
"The time has come to act, to take decisions to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better."
Mr Johnson said he will take "personal responsibility" for the change he wants to see in the country, adding: "Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here."
Mr Johnson said he was "convinced" a Brexit deal could be reached without checks at the Irish border and without the "anti-democratic backstop".
"It is of course vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no-deal.
"Not because we want that outcome, of course not, but because it is only common sense to prepare."
The new prime minister conceded to those who "prophesy disaster" that there will be challenges but he believes they can be mitigated.
"To all those who continue to prophesy disaster I say, 'Yes there will be difficulties,' though I believe with energy and application they will be far less serious than some have claimed.
"But if there is one thing that has really sapped the confidence of business over the past three years it's not the decisions we have taken, it's our refusal to take decisions.
"To those who say we cannot be ready I say do not underestimate this country."
Belfast Telegraph Digital