Drastic measures to get Brexit through are still on the table for Boris Johnson because ‘politics has changed’.
Boris Johnson says he doesn't want to prorogue Parliament, but doesn't rule it out: "I don't like the idea of proroguing. I'm not remotely attracted to it, but MPs have got to understand it's their responsibility to get this thing done" #Ridge pic.twitter.com/0XJopMxC7c— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) June 30, 2019
In an interview with Sky’s political correspondent Sophy Ridge, Boris Johnson said he’s not “remotely attracted” to the idea of proroguing parliament, but added: “MPs have got to understand their responsibility to get this thing done.”
“Politics has changed since March 29, and people can see that unless we get Brexit done there is going to be a continuing haemorrage of confidence and trust in my party and Labour as well,” he said, adding that his party faces “political extinction” if the UK doesn not leave by October 31.
Johnson, who said that to avoid this he would seek a new withdrawal agreement with the EU, was confronted with statements from Leo Varadkar, Jean-Claude Juncker, and Angela Merkel confirming there would be no renegotiation.
“This was before it was reported that you referred to French people as ‘turds’,” added Ridge helpfully. “So I can’t imagine the situation’s improved greatly.”
Johnson argued that it was not in the interest of EU leaders to allow a no-deal Brexit through, because of the tariffs that would ensue on cars coming into the UK.
Asked if he was simply ignoring what EU leaders were saying, he said that at this stage of the negotiations “you would expect them to say that kind of thing” and that they have a “powerful incentive to get it done”.
He added that the entry of numerous eurosceptic UK MEPs into the European Parliament would also be an incentive for the EU to speed up the UK’s exit from the union.
His picture of an acceptable withdrawal agreement, assuming it could be renegotiated, would continue to protect the rights of citizens on either side and would suspend the payment of the UK’s commitment of £39 billion “in creative ambiguity” until the deal was passed.