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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen outside the venue for the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Britain.

Loyal ministers back British PM’s Brexit pledge

LONDON (Xinhua/China Daily) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson ignited the Brexit debate Sunday, saying Britain will leave the European Union next month despite a parliamentary bill forcing him to seek an extension from Brussels if there is no deal.
Johnson made his pledge in a television interview in Manchester as thousands of Conservatives arrived for the start of the last big party conference of the year.
The opening day of the conference was dominated by speeches from senior ministers, backing Johnson’s determination to end Britain’s membership of the EU on October 31.
Johnson said the chances of striking a deal with the EU were still possible, adding that efforts were not helped by the Benn Act, the law put forward by veteran Labour politician Hilary Benn which forces Johnson to ask for a Brexit extension if he has not struck a deal by October 19.
The prime minister has come under fire for referring to the law, which won a parliamentary majority as “the surrender act”.
Despite the criticism, Johnson said in his interview: “Obviously the chances of a deal or no deal depend very much on the common sense of our friends and partners. It has not been helped by the ‘surrender act’.”
He said if Brussels suspects or thinks there is a realistic chance Britain can be kept in the EU, it would clearly take away a lot of the government’s negotiating freedom.
Johnson also rejected suggestions that he would resign as prime minister rather than ask for an extension of Britain’s EU membership.



(Latest Update October 1, 2019)

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