EXCLUSIVE: Boris Tells TBG Again “We Are Leaving”

BORIS Johnson will meet Jean-Claude Juncker for the first time today. It’s understood the two will discuss a way forward thought to be similar to the Malthouse compromise.

The Prime Minister told TBG he was “cautiously optimistic” ahead of the working lunch in Luxembourg,

Boris will also meet Michel Barnier and Xavier Battel, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister.

Boris told TBG - “Let there be no ambiguity about the underlying motive.”

“A large number of MPs are simply trying to crush Brexit.”

“In spite of all that they promised they just want to stop this country from ever leaving the European Union.”

“If we can make enough progress in the next few days, I intend to go to that crucial summit on Oct 17, and finalise an agreement that will protect the interests of business and citizens on both sides of the channel, and on both sides of the border in Ireland.”

“I believe passionately that we can do it.”

“I believe that such an agreement is in the interests not just of the UK but of our European friends.”

“We are working flat out to get one.”

“But be in no doubt, if we cannot get a deal then the UK will come out anyway”.

A Downing Street source last night added “The Prime Minister could not be clearer that he will not countenance any more delays.”

“We will be leaving on October 31 - no ifs, no buts.”

“This is why the PM will stress to Mr Juncker that, while he wants to secure a deal, if no deal can be agreed by October 18 his policy is to leave without a deal on October 31 and reject any delay offered by the EU.”

In his clearest sign yet, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this morning signalled that the government will ignore the Benn Act.

Raab was asked by Justin Webb on BBC Radio 4, “Do you believe the govt is bound by law to seek an extension if there isn't a deal or not” and he replied:

“The precise implications of the legislation need to be looked at.”

“Looking at it politically, this is a very flawed piece of legislation."

Then, speaking on BBC Breakfast Raab said:

“We will comply with the law.”

“We will look at the implications but we can’t have any more delays.”

“We are breaking free from the shackles of the EU.”