Johnson accuses MPs of 'collaborating' with the EU to stop Brexit

Boris Johnson has accused MPs and the EU of collaborating to block Brexit, as he warned of the increasing risk of leaving without a deal.

The prime minister claimed Brussels is “not moving in their willingness to compromise” and warned a no-deal Brexit becomes more likely the longer this goes on.

He urged the UK’s “European friends to compromise”, but said their position is likely to harden the more they believe Westminster can block Brexit.

Mr Johnson’s remarks, made during a self-styled ‘People’s PMQs’ on Facebook from his Downing Street desk, came after the European Commission insisted Britain needs to explain its ideas on the way forward if talks are to progress.

Vanessa Mock, a European Commission spokeswoman, said “our doors are open” to discuss matters with the UK although any “concrete proposals” should be “compatible” with the Withdrawal Agreement.

Philip Hammond also made his first major intervention since quitting as chancellor, arguing that a no-deal Brexit would be “as much a betrayal” of the 2016 referendum as not leaving at all.

He added it could cause “irreparable damage” to the union of the UK.

Mr Hammond also hit out at “those who are pulling the strings in Downing Street, those who are setting the strategy”.

He also warned that trying to “bypass Parliament” to force through a no-deal Brexit would “provoke a constitutional crisis”.

The continuing row over the Brexit process has dominated the summer recess, with Mr Johnson maintaining he is intent on ensuring the UK leaves the EU on October 31.

Asked how he can deliver this pledge given the lack of movement from the EU and opposition from MPs, Mr Johnson said: “There’s a terrible kind of collaboration, as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.

“And our European friends are not moving in their willingness to compromise, they’re not compromising at all on the Withdrawal Agreement even though it’s been thrown out three times, they’re sticking to every letter, every comma of the Withdrawal Agreement – including the backstop – because they still think Brexit can be blocked in Parliament.

“The awful thing is the longer that goes on, the more likely it is of course that we will be forced to leave with a no-deal Brexit,” he said.

“That’s not what I want, it’s not what we’re aiming for but we need our European friends to compromise.

“The more they think there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in Parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”

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