'I don’t want an election': Boris Johnson urges MPs not to back Brexit delay

'I don’t want an election': Boris Johnson urges MPs not to back Brexit delay

Boris Johnson pleaded with Tory MPs not to support measures to block a no-deal Brexit amid speculation he could call an election if he loses the Commons showdown.

The Prime Minister insisted “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election” but he said he would not seek an extension to the Brexit deadline – which is what the cross-party alliance are demanding if there is not a deal.

In a statement in Downing Street following an unscheduled Cabinet meeting, Mr Johnson urged his MPs not to join Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in backing a “pointless” delay.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on the eve of MPs returning to Westminster’s Brexit battles (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on the eve of MPs returning to Westminster’s Brexit battles (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Mr Johnson had to contend with the noise of protesters at the gates of Downing Street as he delivered his statement.

He said if MPs voted against the Government and backed the cross-party Bill they would “chop the legs” out from under the UK’s position in negotiating a deal with the EU.

He said: “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 October 31, no ifs or buts.”

The Prime Minister claimed the chances of a Brexit deal are rising and he was “encouraged by the progress we are making” with Brussels.- Press Association

Earlier (6.18pm): Boris Johnson has insisted “I don’t want an election” as he urged MPs not to back a Brexit delay.

The British Prime Minister warned that MPs would “chop the legs out” from the UK position if they backed a “pointless” Brexit extension and stressed there were “no circumstances” in which he would personally seek a delay.

He said he believes talks with Brussels have moved forward in recent weeks because the Government “wants a deal, has a clear vision for the future relationship” and is clear that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 “come what may”.

Mr Johnson said outside Downing Street: “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 October 31, no ifs or buts.”

Mr Johnson said he does not want an election, but reaffirmed his hope to see the UK leave the EU with a deal.

He said: “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.”

He said negotiators should be able to get on with their work without the “sword of Damocles” of an election hanging over them.

He said: “I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election. Let’s get on with the people’s agenda. Fighting crime, improving the NHS, boosting schools, cutting the cost of living, unlocking talent and opportunity across the entire United Kingdom.”

Updated at 6.26pm

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