United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday warned against any further delay in Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU), saying there was “little appetite” for another extension. Making an appeal to the lawmakers to back his last-minute Brexit deal, Boris Johnson said that further delay would be “pointless and expensive”.
As the MPs say on a weekend for the first time in 37 years to debate the Brexit deal, Boris Johnson told Parliament, “If there is one feeling that unites the British public with a growing number of officials in the EU it is a burning desire to get Brexit done. Further delay would be “pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive to public trust.”
Earlier in the day, the prime minister’s plan to get Parliament to approve his deal with the EU was thrown into doubt as the lawmakers were first given a vote on whether to delay their final decision on Brexit.
Boris Johnson implored the legislators to ratify the deal he struck this week with the other 27 EU leaders. He said members of the House of Commons should “come together as democrats to end this debilitating feud” that has wracked the country for more than three years.
“Now is the time for this great House of Commons to come together as I believe people at home are hoping and expecting,” Boris Johnson told lawmakers in Parliament, adding that it was time to “move on and build a new relationship [with Europe]”
Johnson said that his new deal will allow a “new way forward”, letting the UK leave the EU while maintaining the “closest ties of friendship and co-operation”.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said he would first allow a vote on an amendment that essentially puts the vote on the deal off until another day. Those behind the amendment say it will remove the risk that the UK could stumble out of the bloc without a deal on Oct. 31 because the law is not in place.
If the amendment passes, it also will force Boris Johnson to seek a delay from the EU to Britain’s departure, due to take place in less than two weeks on Oct 31.
The prime minister signalled that he would do that under duress. He is compelled by law to ask for the extension, but he said, “it cannot change my judgment that further delay is pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive of public trust.”
Johnson said that Brexit will allow the UK to “take back control”, and benefit “the whole country, including Northern Ireland”.
In response to Johnson’s address, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the new deal was “even worse” than former Prime Minister Theresa May’s. He also said that his party would come together to reject the new deal.
Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party holds only 288 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, so he will have to rely on support from other parties and independent lawmakers to get over the line.