UK PM: I'd rather be dead in ditch than delay Brexit
Updated 19:23, 06-Sep-2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that he would "rather be dead" than ask Brussels for a further delay to Brexit, which opposition lawmakers are trying to force him to do under a bill to block Britain from leaving the EU without a deal on October 31. 

"I'd rather be dead in a ditch," Johnson told reporters when asked about the requirement of the no-deal Brexit Bill, which he strongly opposes. 

He accused opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of "making it impossible for the people of this country to have an election," in televised remarks at a police college that Downing Street said were aimed at voters.

But the PM declined to say if he would resign in case of a postponement.

"We either go forward with our plan to get a deal, take the country out on 31 October which we can or else somebody else should be allowed to see if they can keep us in beyond 31 October," Johnson said.

He told the audience he hated "banging on about Brexit" but accused MPs of having "torpedoed" the UK's negotiating position with the EU by voting for a Labour-backed bill designed to block a no-deal exit on 31 October.

The House of Commons rejected Johnson's plan for a snap election in a vote on Wednesday. But the government has announced that MPs will get another chance to back this plan next Monday.

The fresh vote on an early election is scheduled just before Parliament is due to be prorogued – or suspended – from next week until October 14.

The prime minister's younger brother, Jo Johnson, announced earlier that he was standing down as a minister and MP.

Speaking in West Yorkshire, Boris Johnson said Jo Johnson, who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, was a "fantastic guy" but they had had "differences" over the EU.

The prime minister travels to Scotland on Friday, announcing an increase in funding for farming as he continues to promote higher public spending.