Prime Minister Boris Johnson implicitly warned lawmakers on Monday that he would seek an election if they tied his hands on Brexit, ruling out ever countenancing a further delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Johnson’s promise to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union on October 31 with or without a divorce deal has propelled the nation towards constitutional crisis and confrontation with the bloc’s 27 other members.
With less than 60 days before a possible no-deal exit, an alliance of opposition lawmakers are plotting with rebels in Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party to block that and force him to delay Brexit for three months.
But Johnson, who made his name as an EU-bashing journalist in Brussels before entering politics, said he would never do that, after his predecessor Theresa May twice postponed Brexit.
“I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay: we are leaving on 31st October, no ifs or buts,” Johnson said in a hastily-organised statement at a lectern outside Number 10 Downing Street.
“We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises,” Johnson added. “I don’t want an election. You don’t want an election. Let’s get on with the people’s agenda.”