LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will be leaving the European Union on Oct. 31 no matter what, Prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday, responding to reports that a government adviser had suggested parliament had missed its chance to block a no-deal Brexit.
The spokesman also said that Britain would keep reaching out to counterparts in the European Union in search of an exit deal, and that the government hoped the bloc changed its position on the so-called Irish backstop - a sticking point in negotiations.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Dominic Cummings, one of architects of the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, told ministers that Johnson could schedule a general election after the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline if he lost a vote of no confidence in parliament.
Asked if Johnson agreed it was too late to stop a no-deal Brexit, the spokesman said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on Oct. 31 whatever the circumstances. There are no ifs or buts. We must restore trust in our democracy and fulfill the repeated promises of parliament to the people by coming out of the EU on Oct. 31.”
He added: “Politicians cannot choose which votes to respect. They promised to respect the referendum result and we must do so.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by William James