Boris Johnson: There are ‘no circumstances’ I would extend Article 50
PUBLISHED: 18:22 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:04 02 September 2019
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As Remain MPs table a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson has said there are “no circumstances” in which he would delay leaving the EU beyond October 31.
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In an announcement outside Number 10, the prime minister also said he does not want to call a general election.
Johnson, who inherited his post on the basis of a vote from Conservative members, does not have an electoral mandate for his "do or die" Brexit which includes keeping no-deal on the table.
In his speech, however, he reiterated his view that taking no-deal off the table would "chop the legs out from under the UK position" in Brussels in securing changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.
He said that MPs will have "plenty of time" to discuss a new agreement, despite having ordered the prorogation of parliament which has widely been seen by Remainers as an attempt to reduce parliamentary scrutiny.
He made his speech over protesters' shouts of "stop the coup".
He added: "There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay" on Brexit.
His speech comes in the wake of news of a bill to be tabled by Remain MPs aimed at forcing Johnson to extend Article 50 if he cannot get a deal with the EU that is acceptable to parliament.
MORE: Remainers to force three-month Brexit delay if government cannot secure a deal
He has threatened the removal of the whip and automatic electoral deselection for Tory MPs who vote on any legislation aimed at preventing no-deal.
Although the bill is reported to have the numbers to pass, comments from Michael Gove prior to Johnson's own statement cast doubt on whether the governmment would actually abide by it.
Johnson's speech came amid febrile speculation about a general election, but the PM said: "I don't want an election. You don't want an election."
Commenting, Labour MP David Lammy, who supports pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain, said: "The prime minister has made this statement purely because his attempt to bully those Conservative MPs who have been standing up to him has failed. They've chosen country over party.
"Tomorrow, MPs from across the House of Commons will get the ball rolling to stop a disastrous no-deal Brexit.
"There's no mandate for no-deal and Boris Johnson knows this. He will fail."
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