THE Union Flag was the perfect backdrop for Boris Johnson's Brexit message when he visited the Isle of Wight this afternoon (Thursday).

He shouted "October 31" and reaffirmed his ambition to become Prime Minister and leave the EU by that date when he visited Wight Shipyard in East Cowes.

Mr Johnson said he had visited the Island many times and said he could give reassurance to residents that he was interested in Island MP Bob Seely's Island Deal, which seeks to get special funding and recognition for the IW.

He said: "Bob Seely makes a fantastic case for the Island Deal, recognising the costs of living and working on an Island.

"I think we should look at doing something like they have for the Scottish Islands.

"I have been on holiday here and it is a wonderful place to come to, but there are lot of problems for people living here."

Mr Seely said: "I am delighted with how interested Mr Johnson has been in the Island."

Mr Johnson spoke to several members of the 150-strong workforce at Wight Shipyard and toured the premises, climbing aboard a RIB being built for the Royal Yacht Squadron, and exploring the passenger ferries that are being exported to Mexico.

He praised the 'wonderful' work being done by the company.

Chief operating officer at Wight Shipyard, Jo Daly, said: "We are the best aluminium boatbuilder in the world. It was great to showcase what we are doing here on the Island, recognise we are employing 150 people on site and giving back to the Island economy.

"British shipbuilding is back, on the IW and in an iconic shed."

Simon Haynes, chief financial officer, said:"We are exporting to Europe and beyond, into Mexico. Brexit is the elephant in the room but it is the uncertainty that is the worst thing.

"We are prepared and can be adaptable. We will position ourselves to take advantage of whatever the future holds."

Mr Johnson was encouraged by the workforce to take a group selfie.

Mr Johnson has been backed by Mr Seely in the Conservative leadership campaign. This afternoon he is addressing Conservative Party members at a special event, which was attended by other leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt earlier in the day.

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