UK prime minister Boris Johnson said that opposition to a no-deal Brexit would make the scenario more likely, according to his interview with Sky News on Friday.
The Prime Minister said that most people in the UK wanted his government to "get on and try and get an agreement," adding that if London could not get one, Brits should "get ready to come out anyway." Doing so would help the UK to strengthen its negotiating stance with Brussels and that protesters were 'getting in the way,' he said.
The PM said as quoted by Sky News: "I'm afraid that the more our friends and partners think, at the back of their mind, that Brexit could be stopped, that the UK could be kept in by Parliament, the less likely they are to give us the deal that we need.
According to the interview, No 10 insisted that MPs would have "a lot of time" to debate Brexit before the 31 October deadline, who he said had "spent three years debating Brexit without actually getting it over the line".
The Prime Minister said: "We're coming up to the last period before we leave on 31 October and, in that period, parliament is going to have a lot of time, still - they've spent three years debating Brexit without actually getting it over the line - they're going to have a lot of time for further consideration.
Brexit Opponents Trying to Hamper Striking a New Deal With Brussels
The comments come after Deputy Political Editor for Sky News, Sam Coates, tweeted on Friday before the interview was published in full that Mr Johnson had said his opponents were harming his chances of striking a good deal with the European Union.
"He’s upping pressure on political opponents - suggesting they’re harming his chances of a getting good deal with Brussels. He warned this generation of politicians won’t be forgiven if they stop Brexit," Coates tweeted.
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) August 30, 2019
The British PM also said that there was "movement under the keel" in negotiations with Brussels and that the EU should not "think at the back of their minds" that Brexit could be "thwarted", according to ITV reporters Paul Brand and Libby Wiener.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) August 30, 2019
He left the interview with a message to protestors, stating: "To tell the people that they're going to be ignored, after all the promises that have been made. Because everybody can see what the risk is now. If we frustrate that mandate, if we stop the UK from leaving on 31 October, if that's what parliamentarians end up doing, it will do lasting damage to people's trust in politics.
Opposition from Irish Deputy Taoiseach Simon Coveney Over Backstop
The PM made the comments after Mr Coveney met with European officials in Helsinki from 29 to 30 August to discuss challenges to EU foreign policy issues, including "Hybrid Threats, the Middle East and the Arctic as well as regional cooperation with Western Balkan partner countries".
Coveney, who is also the Irish foreign minister, told reporters in Helsinki: “At the moment nothing credible has come from the British government in the context of an alternative to the backstop. If that changes, great, we will look at it in Dublin, but more importantly it can be the basis of a discussion in Brussels.
Solidarity with #Ireland concerning the backstop: FM @HeikoMaas and his Irish counterpart @simoncoveney agreed in #Helsinki: peace in Northern Ireland and the #EU internal market must not be jeopardized. pic.twitter.com/hxO2TjusIJ— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) August 29, 2019
He added that a deal could not simply be a notion that 'we must have the backstop removed and we will solve this problem in the future negotiation’ without proposing a credible way to implement it.
Mr Coveney said that there was no “country that wants a deal more than Ireland,” but added that any agreement forged with London had to be credible to avoid a hard border on the Irish isle and preserve the EU single market.
More Headaches for Downing Street
The developments also come after UK defence secretary Ben Wallace was caught on camera at the Helsinki meeting saying that Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament was due to Brexit, despite the PM previously denying doing so on Wednesday. Mr Wallace made the comments to French DM Florence Parly, stating that as Commons refused to support the UK's withdrawal agreement with Brussels, Mr Johnson suspended Parliament to break the deadlock, adding that the UK government had found itself with "no majority and a coalition".
A coalition of opposition parties led by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to block a hard Brexit via a vote of no confidence in the current UK government, replacing it instead with a 'caretaker' government. PM Johnson has been met with widespread resistance for asking Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue Parliament using a 14 October Queen's Speech, sparking resignations from Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Lords' chief whip George Young on Thursday.
A petition opposing Johnson's parliamentary suspension reached over 1m signatures in 24 hours, with members of Labour's Momentum faction stating that they would disrupt traffic in protest, despite Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg insisting that the suspension was "constitutional and proper". PM Johnson has also stated that the UK would leave by the 31 October deadline "come what may", prompting fierce polarisation across the UK from both Leave and Remain camps.