Boris Johnson has said there are “no circumstances” in which he will ask for another Brexit delay, as he prepares for a parliamentary showdown with MPs.
In a statement outside Downing Street, the prime minister claimed MPs’ attempts to force him into an extension would “chop the legs out” from the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.
Mr Johnson called on MPs to reject a “pointless” bid to stop him taking Britain out of the bloc on 31 October without a deal.
Speculation is rife in Westminster that he could call an election if he loses a looming parliamentary showdown with MPs over the issue – or ignore any legislation passed by them.
Speaking on the eve of MPs returning to Westminster, Mr Johnson said: “I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against (Jeremy) Corbyn’s pointless delay.
“I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on October 31, no ifs or buts.”
Mr Johnson claimed the chances of a deal were rising and he was “encouraged by the progress we are making” with the EU.
He added: “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election.
“Let’s get on with the people’s agenda. Fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom.”
The end of the summer recess will see the beginning of a battle between the government and a large section of MPs over the prospect of a potential no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnson has pledged to take Britain out of the EU on 31 October with or without a deal.
But a majority of MPs are opposed to no-deal and want to pass legislation requiring the PM to seek a delay to Brexit to avoid this.
To that end, the MPs have published the bill they hope to get through parliament.
The legislation gives the government until 19 October – the day after a key summit of EU leaders – to either get a new deal from Brussels or win the backing of parliament for leaving the bloc with no agreement in place.
If neither of these conditions have been met, the PM would be required to seek an extension to Article 50 until 31 January 2020.
Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: “This bill will stop Boris Johnson forcing through a reckless and damaging no-deal Brexit on 31 October.
“This week could be parliament’s last chance to stop a no-deal Brexit. MPs must act in the national interest and support this bill.”
Credit: Source link