Johnson warns MPs: ‘I will never delay Brexit’
By Guy Faulconbridge, Kylie MacLellan and William James
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ruled out ever asking the European Union to delay Britain's departure from the bloc, making an implicit warning to MPs that he could be forced to call an election if they tied his hands on Brexit.
Mr Johnson's promise to take the country out of the European Union on October 31 with or without a divorce deal has propelled the United Kingdom towards a constitutional crisis and a battle with the 27 other members of the bloc.
An alliance of opposition MPs are plotting with rebels in Mr Johnson's Conservative Party to take control of parliament and tie the government's hands with legislation that would block a no-deal exit.
Mr Johnson, giving an hastily organised statement at a lectern outside Number 10 Downing Street, said he would never delay Brexit which was delayed twice by his predecessor, Theresa May.
"I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay: we are leaving on 31st Oct, no ifs or buts," Mr Johnson said.
In an implicit warning to MPs, Mr Johnson said: "We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises."
"I don't want an election. You don't want an election. Let's get on with the people's agenda," he said.
Mr Johnson added that if MPs voted to delay Brexit they would "plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible."
More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48% to leave the European Union, it is still unclear on what terms, or indeed whether, Brexit will take place.
The British parliament returns today from its summer break and an alliance of opposition lawmakers and some rebels in Johnson's party will seek to grab control of parliament to force him to delay rather than go for a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnson's enforcers warned rebels that if they voted against the government they would be kicked out of his Conservative Party.