Boris Johnson Pitches for Leadership With Pledge of Brexit on Oct. 31

Boris Johnson will launch his campaign to become U.K. prime minister Wednesday morning with a promise to get Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31, come what may.

The former foreign secretary is the favorite of the 10 candidates to succeed Theresa May, and the one who has said by far the least about how he would tackle the biggest problem that the nation faces. His launch event will be the first time he has faced public questioning in months.

That silence has allowed him to pick up the support of both members of Parliament who want to leave the EU with a deal and those who are content to — or would even prefer to — leave without one. His stated strategy is to talk tough with the Europeans, threatening to withhold the 39 billion-pound ($49 billion) settlement that the U.K. has agreed it owes the bloc unless he’s granted concessions.

“We must leave the EU on Oct. 31,” Johnson will say, according to his office. “We simply will not get a result if we give the slightest hint that we want to go on kicking the can down the road with yet more delay. Delay means defeat.”

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