Number 10 has fuelled speculation over Boris Johnson’s future as prime minister, after refusing to rule out his resignation if he fails to break the deadlock over Brexit.
Mr Johnson’s efforts to secure either a general election or a Brexit deal have been frustrated, following a string of commons defeats, and Downing Street has refused to rule out his resignation if he fails to achieve either outcome, the Independent reported.
Members of Parliament, including Tory rebels, as well as the House of Lords, have now approved a bill designed to stop a no-deal Brexit.
It means the prime minister will be forced to ask the EU for the Brexit deadline to be extended beyond 31 October, if no deal is agreed between the UK and Brussels by 19 October.
However, Mr Johnson has said on Thursday, that he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than ask Brussels for an extension.
When quizzed on whether he would step down if he was unable to fulfil his promise of taking the EU out of the EU on October 31, Mr Johnson replied: ‘That is not a hypothesis I am willing to contemplate.’
It comes as opposition parties also agreed to block the prime minister’s demand for a general election before the EU summit takes place in mid-October.
The Labour party, Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru say they will vote against the government or abstain in Monday’s vote on whether to hold a snap election.
The proposal for a snap election would have required a two-third majority in the House of Commons.
It is hoped that a victory in a general election for the Conservatives, would give Mr Johnson a majority large enough to push through a no-deal through parliament, should negotiations with Brussels fail.
After a Downing Street spokesperson was asked if Mr Johnson’s refusal to go to Brussels for an extension meant he would rather quit, the spokesperson replied that the prime minister had ‘made his position on extension clear a number of times this week.’
She added: ‘In relation to MPs and the decisions that they are facing, the PM has said that the current position is unsustainable and that MPs should consider over the weekend whether they are prepared to face up to the consequences of their actions this week in passing a bill that wrecks our negotiations and seeks to impose an indefinite delay to Brexit.’
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