Conservative Party leadership hopeful Mark Harper said it is “not going to be possible” to leave the European Union on October 31.
He admitted his stance may upset some people, however he said anyone pledging to leave by October is “not credible”.
“It is not credible to say you can renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement and get it through both Houses of Parliament by October 31,” he said.
Mr Harper was critical of his more high-profile competitors who have “sat around the Cabinet table and participated in decisions that have led to not leaving the European Union”.
He also took a swipe at Boris Johnson for his tax plan that would raise the 40 per cent tax threshold from £50k to £80k.
He said it was not right to “promise more money to higher taxpayers”.
The former immigration minister said he was “comfortable leaving without a deal”, but it is “better to have a deal”.
He said the only way he would accept leaving the EU without a deal would be if negotiations remained stagnant up until May next year when local elections were due.
“Only in those circumstances, do I think there will be a majority in the House of Commons to leave without a deal,” he said.
Mr Harper has the longest odds of any of the ten candidates in the race, with bookmakers giving him a 200/1 shot of claiming victory.