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Boris Johnson repeatedly insisted he would not delay Brexit beyond Halloween

The PM said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than seek a withdrawal extension.

Boris Johnson pledged that the UK would leave the EU by October 31 (Brian Lawless/PA)
Boris Johnson pledged that the UK would leave the EU by October 31 (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Shaun Connolly and Harriet Line, PA Political Staff

Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted Britain would leave the European Union on October 31.

But now Brussels has agreed to delay Brexit until January 2020, unless the Prime Minister’s deal clears Parliament.

Here is a look back on some of the times he made the vow:

– June 25: Mr Johnson first pledged to deliver Brexit on October 31 “do or die” during a TalkRadio interview amid the Conservative Party leadership campaign.

He said the UK would be leaving the EU on the Halloween deadline “do or die, come what may”.

I’d rather be dead in a ditch Boris Johnson on a possible Brexit delay

– July 25: In his first speech as Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson said he would meet the October 31 deadline, “no ifs or buts”.

“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,” he told the nation.

– September 2: Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.”

– September 3: Addressing the House of Commons, the PM said: “I am confident of getting a deal, we will leave on 31 October in all circumstances. There will be no further pointless delay.”

– September 5: On seeking to delay Brexit beyond October 31, Mr Johnson said in Yorkshire: “I’d rather be dead in a ditch.”

We're going to come out on October 31 and it's vital that people understand that the UK will not extend. We won't go on remaining in the EU beyond October Boris Johnson

– September 6: Referring to a move by MPs, the PM said: “They just passed a law that would force me to beg Brussels for an extension to the Brexit deadline. This is something I will never do.”

– September 16: Mr Johnson told the BBC: “We’re going to come out on October 31 and it’s vital that people understand that the UK will not extend. We won’t go on remaining in the EU beyond October.”

– October 19: Addressing MPs after they rebelled against his Brexit stance, the Prime Minister said: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.”

– October 19: Later that evening, Mr Johnson complied with the so-called Benn Act and sent European Council president Donald Tusk an unsigned copy of the legislation requesting a three-month Brexit delay.

The PM also sent a signed letter stating he was opposed to such a move because “further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners”.

PA

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