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  • Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson leaves his home in London, Britain, June 11, 2019.

    Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson leaves his home in London, Britain, June 11, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 June 2019

Analysts say Conservatives fear more Brexit delays because it could pave the way to a government led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

During his launch for prime minister in London, former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson insisted Wednesday that the United Kingdom has to leave the European Union (EU) at the now-negotiated Oct. 31 date.

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"After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31," said Johnson who added that “it is only responsible to prepare vigorously and seriously for no-deal. Indeed it is astonishing that anyone could suggest dispensing with that vital tool in the negotiation."

Johnson is not in favour of delaying the U.K departure from the EU because the British, he says, feel disappointed by the continual extensions to leave the union. Brexit, says the PM contender, will make voters feel "relieved" and let leaders focus on other issues. 

"Around the country there is a feeling of disillusion and even despair at our ability to get things done. The longer it goes on, the worse the risk that there will be serious contamination and a real loss of confidence."

However, according to local analysts, in reality Tories are worried that any further Brexit delays will increase the popularity of Labor Party leftist leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons voted 309 against, 298 in favor a Labor proposal that would allow the party to decide agenda debates and could enable it to prevent an EU exit. 

In a similar sense, Johnson warned that conservative voters could support other political parties, such as Nigel Farage's eurosceptic party, if there is no Brexit on October 31.

The former foreign minister is seeking to be elected by his Conservative Party peers in July if he gets enough support among Torie lawmakers and also among the 160,000 members of his party.

Regarding a possible 'hard Brexit', the European Commission (EC) reminded U.K. leaders Wednesday must honor its financial obligations while a member state.

EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that "'no agreement does not mean no compromises," last April, also emphasized that the proper treatment of obligations is a "strict condition to start talking about the future." 

If a no-agreement is to occur, Brussels stressed it expects the U.K. to adequately address three main issues: the rights of citizens, the cost of the exit and the consequences in Ireland.

The EU reiterated this as Johnson has suggested the U.K. would not pay its debts it acquired as a member state and contributions it owes to the budget until 2021.

The latest estimate for the Brexit "bill" is US$49 billion, a figure based on calculations the U.K. and EU have agreed upon, sats the Brussels Times.

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