U.K.'s Boris Johnson: 'We're going to get a deal' and leave EU on Oct. 31
'If absolutely necessary, we will come out with no deal,' prime minister says
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he would get a Brexit deal and leave the European Union on Oct. 31.
"We're going to get a deal, and we'll work very hard to get a deal," Johnson told children during a visit to a school. "I was in Ireland yesterday talking to our Irish friends about how to do that. And we're going to go to Brussels and chat to some other European capitals."
He added: "There is a way of getting a deal, but it will take a lot of hard work. We must be prepared to come out without one.
"If absolutely necessary, we will come out with no deal," Johnson said. "This stuff about it being undemocratic: donnez-moi un break — what a load of nonsense."
Johnson's comments came just hours after Parliament was prorogued at the request of the government until Oct. 14. The suspension brought protests from opposition politicians, who shouted "Shame on you" and held up signs reading "Silenced."
The British prime minister has had a turbulent time recently. Before the end of the parliamentary session, he lost another attempt to hold a snap election meant to break a political gridlock.
Monday also saw the passage of a bill that will force the government to ask the EU for a three-month delay if a Brexit agreement can't be reached by Oct. 19.
Johnson was also due to meet with Arlene Foster, the leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that backs the PM's Conservatives. The DUP is opposed to the so-called backstop agreement, the provision in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by former U.K. prime minister Theresa May that is meant to ensure an open border between Ireland, which is an EU member, and Northern Ireland. The DUP says the backstop undermines the ties between Northern Ireland the rest of the U.K.
Earlier Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen, a former German defence minister who will become president of the EU's executive branch in November, said a no-deal Brexit "will be way more difficult than an orderly Brexit."
Von der Leyen said the EU is ready for a no-deal Brexit that would see tariffs and other impediments imposed on trade between the bloc and Britain. But she insisted "it's not in our common interest."
With files from The Associated Press