TRURO, England/LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on France and Germany on Monday to change their position on Brexit and negotiate a new exit deal for Britain, reiterating his stance that he is ready to leave the European Union without a deal if they do not.
With Britain set to leave the bloc at the end of October, it has less than 74 days to resolve a three-year crisis that is pitting the country against the EU, and parliament against the executive.
“We will be ready to come out on Oct. 31 – deal or no deal,” Johnson told reporters in Truro, southwest England.
“Our friends and partners on the other side of the Channel are showing a little bit of reluctance to change their position – that’s fine – I am confident that they will,” he said.
Asked specifically about meetings scheduled this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, he said: “I hope they will see fit to compromise.”
Johnson took office last month after his predecessor, Theresa May, failed three times to get parliament to approve the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with the EU.
Despite his insistence that Britain will leave in October with or without a transition deal, a majority in parliament have previously tried to prevent a so-called no-deal Brexit. Johnson’s calls for the EU to renegotiate the deal have so far been rejected by the bloc’s negotiators.
That puts Britain on course for an unmanaged exit, which an official assessment published by the Sunday Times said would jam ports, increase the risk of public protests and severely disrupt the world’s fifth-largest economy.
The government said on Monday it would end EU freedom of movement immediately if it leaves the bloc without a deal,