LONDON – The position of the UK government has not changed; the country will leave the European Union until October 31. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, speaking on Saturday in the House of Commons of the British Parliament after MPs passed an amendment to delay the “divorce” from the EU.
“I remain convinced that the best option for the United Kingdom and the whole of Europe is Brexit on the terms of the new deal, implemented on October 31,” he said. “Unfortunately, Parliament essentially did not take the opportunity to hold a vote today on the substance [of the EU deal] as it has now lost any meaning,” Johnson said, stressing that he was not broken by such a result.
“Anticipating the opposition’s questions, I will say that I will not discuss with the EU the possibility of a delay, and the law does not oblige me to do so,” he said. However, under a law passed last month, Johnson must request a reprieve from Brussels if Parliament does not give the deal the green light by October 19. Now, it is unclear how the British Prime Minister will be able to circumvent this requirement of the law.
The leader of the Scottish national party faction in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford, has already warned the Prime Minister that he faces court if he does not ask the EU for a delay. “If you, the Prime Minister, think you are above the law and you do not do any of the things you are obliged to do, then you will find yourself in court,” Blackford said. Commenting on his remarks, the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, said that “everyone should certainly obey the law” and ” judicial consideration of such issues will be useful for all members of the house.”
Johnson also promised that the government would reintroduce the EU deal to Parliament next week. “Next week, the government will submit [to Parliament] the laws necessary for us to leave the EU on the terms of the new agreement on October 31. I hope that our colleagues and friends in the EU the idea of a delay will not be as attractive as for the opposition,” the Prime Minister said, after which the majority of members of the ruling Conservative Party left the House of Commons.