The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 21:57

Johnson delivers statement urging MPs not to block or delay Brexit

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delivered a statement from outside 10 Downing Street on Monday evening.

The statement came amid growing speculation of an imminent general election, and after an emergency meeting of the Cabinet was called.

Mr Johnson reiterated previous messages to try and stop MPs from rebelling against the government on Brexit. It is expected opposition MPs will launch a bid to try and block a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday.

On Brexit, the Prime Minister said;

“As we come to that Brexit deadline I am encouraged by the progress we are making.

In the last few weeks the chances of a deal have been rising, I believe, for three reasons. They can see that we want a deal. They can see that we have a clear vision for our future relationship with the EU – something that has perhaps not always been the case. And they can see that we are utterly determined to strengthen our position by getting ready to come out regardless, come what may.

But if there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum.

Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay.

I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t.

But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible.

And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay. 

I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.

We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum.

Armed and fortified with that conviction I believe we will get a deal at that crucial summit in October.

A deal that parliament will certainly be able to scrutinise.

And in the meantime let our negotiators get on with their work.

Without that sword of Damocles over their necks.

And without an election, which I don’t want and you don’t want.”

It is expected that an election could be called later this week, if opposition MPs are able to force and win a vote on passing legislation to block a no-deal exit from the European Union.

The bill outlining these plans was tweeted before Mr Johnson’s speech.

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