No-deal Brexit likely if MPs try to block it: PM

No-deal Brexit likely if MPs try to block it: PM

London - Johnson said that preparing for a no-deal Brexit would allow the government to clinch an agreement with Brussels.



By AFP

Published: Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 31 Aug 2019, 1:09 AM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday warned any attempt by MPs next week to stop Brexit or delay it beyond October 31 would do "lasting damage" to public trust in politics.
Johnson said Britons had decided to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum and MPs had promised multiple times to uphold that decision.
"If we stop the UK from leaving on October 31, if that's what parliamentarians end up doing, it will do lasting damage to people's trust in politics," he told Sky News television.
"It will do lasting and catastrophic damage to the major parties in this country. This political generation won't be forgiven for failing to honour that promise."
Opposition MPs and some lawmakers from Johnson's own Conservatives have said they want to legislate to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which the government's own assessment warns could cause food, fuel and medicine shortages.
But Johnson said that preparing for a no-deal Brexit would allow the government to clinch an agreement with Brussels.
"I'm afraid that the more our friends and partners think, at the back of their minds, that Brexit could be stopped, that the UK could be kept in by parliament, the less likely they are to give us the deal that we need," he said.
Johnson on Wednesday moved to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit in what was widely seen as a move to limit the parliamentary time for his opponents.
Queen Elizabeth II, on his advice, gave the go-ahead to shutter parliament between mid-September and October 14 - just two weeks before the Brexit date of October 31.
The move sent shockwaves through British politics, triggering a furious outcry from pro-Europeans and MPs opposed to a no-deal exit.
Wrong-footed, Johnson's opponents labelled the suspension of parliament a "coup" and a "constitutional outrage".
The decision is being challenged in several legal cases.
Britain's Brexit negotiators are to meet their EU counterparts twice a week throughout September in a bid to reach a new divorce agreement. Johnson said he wants to "step up the tempo" in talks with the EU to strike a new Brexit deal.
Johnson wants the so-called backstop, the fallback provisions regarding the Irish border, scrapped completely. But there are growing concerns among some major players in the EU that Britain will not be able to come up with realistic alternatives in time.
A spokesperson for the European Commission said they were willing to work "24/7 throughout this long process".
 


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