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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Failure to deliver Halloween Brexit causes me deep regret, claims Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson has claimed he feels “deep regret” over the failure to implement his promise of Brexit by Halloween.

The British Prime Minister replied “of course, of course” when asked if he will apologise to those Conservative Party members who voted for him as they believed he would deliver the UK’s exit from the EU by October 31.

Mr Johnson also said he can see “no reason whatsoever” why the UK should extend the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020, adding: “If you get the right Parliament anything’s possible.

“But what you can do from the beginning is, of course, you can begin negotiating, not just with the EU but with countries around the world, and that’s one of the great opportunities that we have next year.”

Mr Johnson earlier said the UK has secured a “great new deal”, telling Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “We got Parliament to say it was a good deal, but then they refused to implement it.

“Actually, there was bags of time between that vote to, when they first said it was a good deal and when they could have got us out on October 31.”

Challenged on whether he needed to take responsibility and could not just blame other people, Mr Johnson said: “Well, I do. I do and I’m deeply, deeply disappointed.”

Asked if he was sorry, he said: “Yes, absolutely.”

Pushed on whether he would apologise to Tory members who supported him, Mr Johnson replied: “Of course, of course.

“It’s a matter of … it’s a matter of deep regret.

“What we need to do now is get on and do it and the difference between this Government and any other party is that only this Government offers a deal that is ready to go and a way of delivering it immediately in the middle of December, if we’re lucky enough to get a majority, and, of course, it’s a big if and we’ll be working very hard.

“The reason why it’s necessary to have an election is because I’m afraid, otherwise, what was going to happen was Parliament was going to rope-a-dope us.

“They were going to say, ‘OK, you know, we’ll agree this, we’ll agree that’, but they weren’t actually going to give final approval, not to, by new year, not by January 31, and then we would have had to go for another extension, and the reason why … it’s so painful to have these extensions, it’s not ‘cause of, you know, my promises or my ego or whatever, it’s because the uncertainty that it means for the whole country.

“Businesses can’t plan, families can’t plan, people just don’t know when Brexit is going to be done and that’s why I think that the offer from the Labour Party is so crazy and so debilitating because what they’re saying is have another referendum and keep the whole thing going.”

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