He said he’d rather “die in a ditch” than delay Brexit.
Boris Johnson then asked to delay it after being forced to in a vote by MPs.
And his request was granted by the EU – meaning it’s now only due on January 31, three years and seven months after the UK voted to leave.
Even if he had managed to rush his deal through Parliament before Halloween , just by requesting an extension Boris Johnson has broken his vow.
He said “I will not” obey instructions to ask for a delay. He said there were “no circumstances” in which he’s ask for one. He said he’s “never” beg for one. And he told MPs simply: “I will not ask for another delay.”
Every one of those statements has been exposed as untrue.
So for the record, here are 9 times Boris Johnson said he wouldn’t delay Brexit – plus a few more for his top allies.
June 25: “We are getting ready to come out on October 31. Come what may. Do or die.”
September 2: “There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.”
September 3: “We will leave by 31 October in all circumstances. There will be no further pointless delay.”
September 4: [No10 source at official press briefing]: “The PM has been clear that he will not go to Brussels to ask for an extension.”
September 5: “[Delay?] I’d rather be dead in a ditch.”
September 6: [Asked if he’ll carry out Parliament’s instructions to delay] “I will not. I don’t want a delay.”
September 6: “[MPs] 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 9: “I will not ask for another delay.”
September 10: [Treasury minister Simon Clarke, speaking on government’s behalf]: “The government is very clear that we will not under any circumstances be asking for an extension and that is the absolute bottom line.”
September 16: “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.”
September 25: “We will come out of the European Union on 31 October, and we will not be extending.”
October 19, 3.30pm: [Conservative Party on Twitter ]: “The Prime Minister will not ask for a delay.”
October 19, 10pm: “Dear Mr President… the United Kingdom is seeking a further extension to the period provided under Article 50 (3) of the Treaty on European Union. Yours Sincerely, Prime Minister.”
The 64-page list of amendments keeps a transition period up to 31 December 2020 and the £39bn divorce bill. But it scraps the Irish backstop, an insurance policy designed at preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland the Republic.
In the backstop’s place would effectively be ‘two borders’ in a hybrid system:
- Northern Ireland and Britain would share a legal customs territory – technically forcing customs checks on goods crossing the 310-mile border with the Republic. But in practice, to avoid checks at the border, the checks will instead happen when goods reach Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland. Critics say this puts a customs border across the Irish Sea – more of this below.
Northern Ireland and the Republic would share some EU single market rules – forcing checks on manufactured and agricultural products crossing the Irish Sea.
The Northern Ireland Assembly – known as Stormont – will get a vote every four years on whether to let EU law continue. But this vote could be passed by a simple majority – denying the DUP a veto on staying under EU laws long-term.
Meanwhile commitments on workers’ rights are deprioritised – moved to the non-legally-binding Political Declaration for agreement later.
For a full explainer click here.