There is no definitive record of the number of times Boris Johnson promised that he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by Halloween, but it is indisputably a substantial volume.
Indeed, the rhetorical flourishes have passed with ease into the contemporary political argot: “Do or die”; “die in a ditch”; “come what may”; “no ifs or buts”. He did everything except have it tattooed on his forehead. We assume.
Mr Johnson has failed. He can blame parliament, the courts, the BBC, or Uncle Tom Cobley, but a failure on his own terms it remains. Britain will not leave the EU this Thursday. The £100m public information campaign to that effect was a grievous waste of taxpayers’ money. Rather than ending uncertainty among business and citizens, it exacerbated it.
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