Boris Johnson 'Undaunted' By Brexit Storm, As Parliament Blocks No-Deal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is undaunted by an attempt by MPs to block a no-deal Brexit, after parliament passed legislation demanding he delay Brexit unless he strikes a new withdrawal agreement.
As he navigates the Brexit storm, Johnson is due to suspend parliament for over a month from Monday after it votes on his latest demand for a snap election, a vote that is likely to go against him.
Johnson set up the suspension - called a prorogation - last month in what opponents cast as an attempt to sideline MPs as he attempts to pull the country out of the EU by October 31, with or without a withdrawal deal.
An alliance of opposition MPs and rebels from Johnson's own Conservative Party have passed a bill, which is due to become law on Monday once the Queen gives her assent, ordering the prime minister to delay Brexit to 2020 unless he gets a deal.
"I'm absolutely undaunted by whatever may take place in parliament," Johnson said in Dublin ahead of talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Monday.
"We must get Brexit done because the UK must come out on October 31, or else I fear that permanent damage will be done to confidence in our democracy in the UK," Johnson said.
Ireland's prime minister told Johnson on Monday that he must make specific proposals on the future of the Irish border if there is to be any hope of averting a no-deal Brexit, saying Dublin cannot rely on simple promises.
"In the absence of agreed alternative arrangements, no backstop is no deal for us," said Varadkar, standing beside Johnson outside the Irish government.
"We are open to alternatives, but they must realistic ones, legally binding and workable and we haven't received such proposals to date."
Johnson, who has no majority in parliament, is seeking an election just a few weeks ahead of the October 31 deadline, though MPs have already refused that request once.
He will put forward another motion in parliament on Monday to propose a poll, but it would require the support of two-thirds of MPs - and opposition parties have said they will not agree to an election until a no-deal exit is ruled out.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn met other opposition party leaders on Monday and they agreed they would vote against Johnson's election bid.
"All leaders agreed that they would not support Boris Johnson's ploy to deny the people their decision by crashing us out of the EU with No Deal during a general election campaign," Labour said.
The no-deal blocking bill will force Johnson to seek a three-month extension to the October 31 deadline unless parliament has either approved a deal or consented by October 19 to leave without one.
"I want to find a deal, I want to get a deal," Johnson said in Dublin, adding that there was plenty of time to find one before the October 17-18 EU summit.