British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted Tuesday he was working hard to strike a divorce deal with the European Union, after he suspended parliament following a series of bruising clashes with MPs over his Brexit plan.
The day after meeting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Johnson held talks with his Northern Irish allies in London — all key players in the race to secure a deal before Britain’s EU exit on October 31.
“We’re working very hard to get a deal. I think we will get a deal but if absolutely necessary we will come out with no deal,” Johnson said during a school visit.
The Conservative leader has faced intense opposition in the House of Commons to his threat to leave the bloc without agreeing exit terms with Brussels.
Before he suspended parliament early Tuesday, MPs rushed through legislation requiring Johnson to postpone Brexit by three months if he fails to secure a deal at an EU summit on October 17-18.
He has previously said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit — but MPs also rejected his call for an early election to resolve the impasse.
His best hope now of meeting next month’s exit deadline is to get a divorce deal, but his options are limited.