The front-runner in the race to Number 10 has said that preparation for a no-deal Brexit must take place even though "nobody wants a disorderly" outcome.

Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary lined up alongside Rory Stewart, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid for the hour-long session at the BBC studios in London.

But Boris Johnson, speaking on a live televised debate on BBC One, said that it was "very important" that we "must prepare" for a no deal outcome and he insisted there is a solution to the so-called Irish backstop, which has stalled the Brexit deal with the EU.

"We are going to make sure we come out in terms that protect the UK and protect the EU as well, he said.

"Nobody wants to see a return of any kind of infrastructural or hard border" on the island of Ireland, he said, and adds that the UK government would "never" do that.

He spoke after Jeremy Hunt mentioned a sheep farmer he met whose business would be destroyed by tariffs on lamb.

READ MORE: Conservative leadership race: Dominic Raab eliminated

He said he would say to Johnson, "You’ve got your dream, but mine [under no-deal] has been destroyed".

Earlier Mr Johnson said:"We must come out on the 31 October, otherwise we face a catastrophic loss of confidence in politics.


"We have already kicked the can down the road twice and I think the British people are getting thoroughly fed up.

"Politicians need to take their responsibilities and act maturely and soberly in the interests of democracy."

The five candidates in the race to Number 10 were taking part in the Our Next Prime Minister debate.

The programme, hosted by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis features the remaining five Conservative leader hopefuls who are through to the latest round of voting after Dominic Raab was eliminated in the second vote.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says if, by 31 October, there was no prospect of a deal, he would leave with no deal. But if they were “nearly there”, he would conclude the deal.

READ MORE: Conservative leadership race: Rory Stewart doubles his vote

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he was committed "there would never be no deal" if he was Prime Minister while saying the UK must leave the EU "as quickly and as efficiently as possible". He says it's "not possible" to agree a new deal with Brussels by 31 October.

"In the end, we're in a room with a door and the door is called Parliament, and I am the only person here trying to find the key to the door. Everybody else is staring at the wall shouting 'believe in Britain'."


Home Secretary Sajid Javid says it is “essential that we act on those instructions” from the British people. “They are our bosses.” He says it is fundamental that Brexit must happen by 31 October. 

"If you don't have a deadline you do not concentrate minds… we have to set a date."

Environment Secretary Michael Gove says Britain would leave in 2019, but agrees with Mr Hunt about the need to delay a bit if, by 31 October, a deal is close. He says sometimes in football you have extra time.

Questions are being asked from the public in the debate but there is no audience, opening or closing statements.


The front-runner in the contest, Boris Johnson, who has increased his share of the MPs vote to 40% agreed to take part having missed Sunday's TV debate on Channel 4.