Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his commitment to leaving the European Union by October 31 “come what may”.
He told talkRADIO’s political editor Ross Kempsell he will never allow an extension beyond this date if he is chosen to be the next Prime Minister.
He has pledged to get “the best bits” out of the current withdrawal agreement and go from there.
“First of all we need to get rid of this current withdrawal agreement and get the best bits in it, put them through Parliament,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we keep that money suspended, and waiting to hand it over if we get the deal that we want. And then we want to make sure that we come up with the solutions for the Northern Irish border.”
The leadership frontrunner said the “heart of the problem” is the EU system is designed to prevent Britain from leaving.
“What we've been doing is we've been creating our own incarcerate, our in prison. The backstop, the customs union and the single market are all basically designed to keep us in,” he said.
“We haven't even really wanted to come out.”
He added: “The British people have had enough of being told that they're incapable of getting ready to do this.”
Mr Johnson said the “defeatism” from the current government is “pathetic”.
“I think a bit of positive energy would help, frankly. I've never seen such morosity and gloom from a government,” he said.
“For three years we've been sitting around wrapped in defeatism telling the British public that they can't do this or that. It is pathetic, it's absolutely pathetic.”