(Bloomberg) -- U.K. leadership front-runner Boris Johnson said it would be “insane now” to say the government might not deliver Brexit by Oct. 31, indicating he could accept a delay at a later date.
In a BBC interview late Friday, the former foreign secretary also said he doesn’t think it’ll be necessary to suspend Parliament -- known as prorogation -- in order to drive through a no-deal Brexit against the wishes of British politicians. But he again refused to rule it out, even though former Prime Minister John Major and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond have said they’d be prepared to take legal action to prevent that course of action.
“I want the elected representatives of the people to take their responsibilities and work together to get this thing over the line,” Johnson said. “And I think actually there is an outbreak of common sense starting to take place in our party and across Parliament and people are coming together to try to get this thing done.”
Johnson is the overwhelming favorite in a battle with with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the top job in a leadership contest decided by 180,000 Conservative Party members. After Brexit was delayed from March 29 to April 12 and then to Oct. 31, Johnson has said he’s prepared to get leave the bloc “do or die” by that deadline, raising the prospect of a no-deal Brexit that would threaten jobs and the economy. Hunt, for his part, has said he’s prepared to delay a bit further if a deal is within sight come the end of October.
“It would be absolutely insane now to say that yet again we have a you know, a phony deadline,” Johnson said.
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