By James Tapsfield, Political Editor, For Mailonline
Published: 08:04 BST, 22 July 2019 | Updated: 08:57 BST, 22 July 2019
Boris Johnson (pictured in London today) said if it was possible to land a spaceship on the moon 50 years ago the Irish border issue could be solved
Boris Johnson compared Brexit to the moon landings today as he insisted the UK can get out by the end of October.
The Tory front runner - expected to be installed as the new PM on Wednesday - said if it was possible to land a spaceship on the moon 50 years ago the Irish border issue could be solved.
Mr Johnson accused the civil service of making the 'simple' process of leaving the EU more complicated, arguing that all Britain had to do was rediscover its 'sense of mission'.
But the scale of the challenge he faces has been underlined by claims that six Tory MPs are ready to defect to the Lib Dems.
That would be more than enough to rob the new PM of his Commons majority and send him tumbling from power.
Meanwhile, the EU is stepping up its rhetoric, dismissing calls to renegotiate the divorce agreement thrashed out with Theresa May - and preparing a multi-billion pound No Deal bailout package for Ireland.
In his Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson stressed the importance of positive thinking in securing Brexit.
'If they could use hand-knitted computer code to make a frictionless re-entry to Earth's atmosphere in 1969, we can solve the problem of frictionless trade at the Northern Irish border,' he wrote.
In a vicious swipe at the civil service, Mr Johnson went on: 'There is no task so simple that government cannot over-complicate if it doesn't want to do it.
'And there are few tasks so complex that humanity cannot solve if we have a real sense of mission to pull them off.
'It is time this country recovered some of its can-do spirit. We can come out of the EU on October 31, and yes, we certainly have the technology to do so. What we need now is the will and the drive.'
Mr Johnson claimed there were