Boris Johnson has dismissed suggestions he might resign to avoid having to ask the European Union for another Brexit delay beyond the end of October.
The Prime Minister has pledged to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal. But under the hastily-passed Benn Act, the Prime Minister must write to the EU seeking an extension to Article 50 if no Brexit deal secures parliamentary approval by 19 October.
The Johnson has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for another delay, and was this morning asked if he would resign to avoid it.
He told the BBC: “No, I have undertaken to lead the party and my country at a difficult time and I am going to continue to do that.
“I believe it is my responsibility to do that.”
Last week, City A.M. revealed the government thinks it is possible to circumvent the Benn Act by invoking European law, because the latter “usurps British law,” according to a source.
But speaking on the opening morning of the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Johnson would not be drawn on whether he would do this.
He said: “I’m not going to discuss a hypothetical situation that may arise if and when the Benn Act comes into effect.”
The Benn Act has “not helped” the UK’s chances of getting a deal, he said.
“The issue is that in Brussels, if they suspect … there is a realistic chance that the UK can be kept in by any means beyond the 31 October, that clearly takes away a lot of our negotiating freedom.”