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Johnson says he feels 'deep regret' over failure to deliver Brexit by 31 October

He said he sees no reason why the UK should extend the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

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

Johnson 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 31 October.

The Prime Minister also said he can see “no reason whatsoever” about 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.”

Johnson earlier said the UK has secured a “great new deal”, telling Sophy Ridge this morning 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 31 October.

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

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

Pushed on whether he would apologise to Tory members who supported him, Johnson replied “of course, of course”, adding that 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,” Johnson said. 

The Prime Minister added that it’s “necessary” to have a election because he’s “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 31 January, 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,” Johnson said. 

“People just don’t know when Brexit is going to be done,” he added. 

“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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