British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a fresh rebellion in his cabinet, with a group of ministers poised to resign due to concerns that he is leading the country towards a "no-deal" Brexit, The Times newspaper reported yesterday. An unnamed cabinet minister cited by the newspaper said that a "very large number" of Conservative members of parliament will quit if it comes to a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson has vowed to leave the EU on Oct. 31, come what may. However, efforts to strike a deal to smooth Britain's departure risk foundering over proposals aimed at keeping open the border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. Last week, Johnson submitted proposals for an alternative to the Irish backstop arrangements that form part of the existing withdrawal deal, but EU officials remain unconvinced, following several rounds of technical talks in Brussels over recent days. European Council President Donald Tusk accused Johnson of playing a "stupid blame game."
Brussels and London have only a few days left to secure an agreement on Britain's exit terms before a crucial summit of EU leaders on Oct. 17 and 18. A law passed by rebel MPs would force him to ask to delay Brexit if he has not reached a deal in time, something he says he will not do. The government is planning to hold a special Saturday session of parliament on Oct. 19, the day after the EU summit, whether or not there is a deal.
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