British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech at 10 Downing Street on September 2, 2019 in London, England.
Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that chances of striking a deal to leave the European Union have increased as he insisted Britain would not delay its exit from the bloc again.
In a statement following an emergency meeting with his cabinet, Johnson urged members not to vote this week for legislation to block a no-deal Brexit. In that scenario, the U.K. would leave the EU without an agreement in place for exactly how the breakup would work.
Casting any more delays as “pointless,” the prime minister said “we will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises and scrub” Britain’s referendum vote in favor of leaving the EU. Johnson has called for an Oct. 31 exit from the bloc.
“We’re leaving on the 31 st of October, no ifs or buts. We will not accept any attempts to go back on our promises, “he said.
Thepound dropped against the dollarearlier Monday amid speculation that Johnson could call for a general election if opposition lawmakers vote against a no-deal Brexit this week. But the prime minister said he hoped to resolve the UK’s messy divorce from the EU without a snap election.
“I don’t want You don’t want an election, “Johnson said.
Sterling dipped slightly against the dollar following his remarks.
Johnson, who succeeded Theresa May as prime minister in July amid her struggles to strike a Brexit agreement, said he was “encouraged” by recent progress . He argued “the chances of a deal have been rising.”
Johnson said negotiators in Brussels believe the U.K. wants a deal and has a “clear vision” for its future relationship with the EU.
The prime minister contended efforts to block a no-deal Brexit would hurt the U.K.’s negotiating position in the coming weeks.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has pushed to stop the U.K. from leaving the EU without a deal in place. In a speech Monday, he said “this week could be our last chance” to stop a no-deal Brexit.
He claimed breaking from the EU without an agreement would lead to “a one-sided United States trade deal that will put us at the mercy of Donald Trump and the biggest American corporations. “The US president has said he wants a major bilateral trade deal with the U.K. once it leaves the European single market.