Boris Johnson has given his strongest signal yet that he could suspend parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit against the will of MPs.
The Tory leadership front runner insisted that he was not attracted to the idea of ‘proroguing’ parliament, and that he believed the “common sense” of MPs would bring about a deal all sides could agree upon by the October 31 deadline.
But asked to categorically rule out proroguing parliament, he said: “I’m not attracted to the idea of a no-deal exit from the EU but, you know, I think it would be absolutely folly to rule it out. I think it’s an essential tool of our negotiation.
I don’t envisage the circumstances in which it will be necessary to prorogue parliament, nor am I attracted to that expedient.
When asked if it’s still ‘on the table’, he said a lot of things are… it’s a big table.
Other contenders now eliminated from the contest have previously strongly condemned the idea of proroguing parliament, potentially dragging the Queen into a constitutional crisis.
Johnson’s comments came after he pledged to take the UK out of the EU by the Halloween deadline “do or die”, regardless of whether he could negotiate a new deal with Brussels.
Johnson, speaking at a Tory leadership hustings in Bournemouth, criticised his rival Jeremy Hunt’s suggestion that the current deadline could be delayed beyond October 31.
Anybody who proposes any further delay is simply going to end up eroding trust in politics, eroding people’s confidence in our democratic institutions further, he said.
“And further weakening out great Conservative Party and our mission to lead this country. And it simply won’t work. Kick the can again and we kick the bucket, my friends, that’s the sad reality.