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Not sensible to aim exclusively for no deal Brexit: UK leadership frontrunner Johnson

FILE PHOTO: Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the JCB Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, Britain, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Yates/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - It would not be sensible to aim only to leave the European Union without a deal but it would not be responsible to take no deal off the table, Boris Johnson, the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister, said on Sunday.

On Friday former foreign minister Johnson said Britain should leave the bloc with or without a deal on Oct. 31.

“No one sensible would aim exclusively for a no-deal outcome. No one responsible would take no-deal off the table,” he wrote in his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“If we are courageous and optimistic, we can strike a good bargain with our friends across the Channel, come out well and on time – by October 31 – and start delivering on all the hopes and ambitions of the people.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Kate Holton