Boris Johnson hints EU leaders could block Brexit delay

Boris Johnson has hinted the European Union could veto a further delay to Brexit as he insisted he will get the UK out of the bloc on October 31 with or without a deal.

The Prime Minister, who maintained his attack on the Benn Act which could force him to seek a delay if a deal has not been approved by October 19, said EU leaders would be reluctant to keep a "truculent" UK in the group.

He refused to be drawn on whether he would ask one of his fellow leaders to veto an extension in order to ensure the October 31 deadline was preserved.

As the Conservative Party conference began in Manchester, Mr Johnson:

– Set out plans for 40 new hospitals as the Tories prepare to make the NHS a key battleground in the next general election

– Hit out at the "novel and peculiar" decision by the Supreme Court to rule that his suspension of Parliament was unlawful

– Defended his use of language in the Commons during Wednesday's heated exchanges but apologised if there was a misunderstanding over his use of the word "humbug" in response to an MP's concerns about death threats

– Said resolving the Brexit crisis would be the best thing for "people's overall psychological health"

– Insisted he had "no interest to declare" in response to the storm over his links to American entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri while he was mayor of London.

Delivering Brexit on October 31 is a totemic pledge for Mr Johnson and he claimed the Benn Act, which he repeatedly called the Surrender Act, was hampering efforts to strike a Brexit deal.

He said that in Brussels "if they think there is a realistic chance that the UK can be kept in", that "takes away a lot of our negotiating freedom of manoeuvre".

Despite the Benn Act he claimed that "of course we can" leave the EU without a deal on October 31.

He refused to set out how he would do that but did not rule out asking another EU leader to veto a request for a delay.

"I'm not going to get into my discussions with any other EU head of state about the negotiations, because they are extremely interesting but they are also delicate," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

But he added: "It is certainly true that other EU countries also don't want this thing to keep dragging on.

"They don't want the UK to remain in the EU, truculent and mutinous and in a limbo, and not wishing to co-operate in the way that they would like.

"They want a good deal and there's the opportunity now to get a good deal.

"What I would like is for the Government to be able to get on and do that deal, and we are working very hard.

"I'm not going to pretend to you that it's going to be easy."

The fallout continued from Wednesday's stormy Commons session.

Mr Johnson defended his use of words such as "surrender", saying to avoid doing so was "impoverishing the language and diminishing parliamentary debate".

He said: "I think what most people in this country would agree is that Brexit discussion has been going on for far too long and it is true that tempers on both sides have now become inflamed."

But he said that "we haven't got a prayer of uniting the country until we get Brexit over the line".

Describing his Commons exchange with Labour MP Paula Sheriff, Mr Johnson said: "My use of the word 'humbug' was in the context of people trying to prevent me, us, from using the word 'surrender'."

72 PHOTOS
Conservative Party Conference
See Gallery
Conservative Party Conference
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the stage with his partner Carrie Symonds after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) is given a pat on the back by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, as he leaves the stage after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on stage giving his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Prime Minister Boris Johnson exits the hall with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds following his keynote speech on day four of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 2, 2019 in Manchester, England. The U.K. government prepares to formally submit its finalised Brexit plan to the EU today. The offer replaces the Northern Irish Backstop with border, customs and regulatory checks lasting until 2025. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) is kissed by his partner Carrie Symonds as they leave after he delivered his keynote speech to delegates on the final day of the annual Conservative Party conference at the Manchester Central convention complex, in Manchester, north-west England on October 2, 2019. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to unveil his plan for a new Brexit deal at his Conservative party conference Wednesday, warning the EU it is that or Britain leaves with no agreement this month. Downing Street said Johnson would give details of a "fair and reasonable compromise" in his closing address to the gathering in Manchester, and would table the plans in Brussels the same day. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, watch him deliver his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up as he leaves the stage after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Delegates cheer with Union Jack flags to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's arrival to deliver his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the stage with his partner Carrie Symonds as he is congratulated by his father Stanley Johnson after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, watch him deliver his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Home Secretary Priti Patel leads the cabinet ministers into the hall ahead of the Prime Minister's keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is kissed by his partner his partner Carrie Symonds, after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Jacob Rees-Mogg during the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment
Carrie Symonds arrives at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Boris Johnson during the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment
Police arrive at the Conservative Party Conference after a "small misunderstanding" when an attendee, believed to be Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for The Cotswolds, tried to enter the International Lounge at the Manchester Convention Centre without the relevant pass, triggering a lockdown. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police attend the Conservative Party Conference after a "small misunderstanding" when an attendee, believed to be Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for The Cotswolds, tried to enter the International Lounge at the Manchester Convention Centre without the relevant pass, triggering a lockdown. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Police officers lock down the International Lounge after an unspecified incident on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: People are directed away from the International Lounge after an unspecified incident caused it to be locked down on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Paramedics are stood down following an unspecified incident caused the lock down of the International Lounge during on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Stanley Johnson, is seen on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 1, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, Manchester on Tuesday 1 October 2019 (Photo by P Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Home Secretary Priti Patel after making her keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Home Secretary Priti Patel delivers her keynote speech on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Tuesday October 1, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson arrives ahead of day two of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, the Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Former Thomas Cook cabin crew and staff protesting outside the Manchester Convention Centre at the Conservative Party Conference. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, Lord President of the Council and MP for North East Somerset speaks at day one of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester , England , 29 September 2019. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Armed British police officers hold their weapons as they stand on duty outside the annual Conservative Party conference at the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, north-west England on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
People listen to speakers at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on stage at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
A Boris doll at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
(left to right) International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during the "Builiding a Safe and Prosperous Britain" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Sunday September 29, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Stands selling merchandise at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg delivers a speech during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab delivers a speech during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
(left to right) Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on stage at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Stands selling merchandise at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove arrives to Manchester Central on day one of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets patient Mark Mountaine during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy (left) and former Labour political advisor James Mills playing in the annual party conference football game between Conservative MPs and a team of journalists at the City Football Academy Stadium, Manchester.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks with his partner Carrie Symonds as they arrive at The Midland, near the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019, on the eve of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives, accompanied by partner Carrie Symonds, ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive at the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Preparations underway ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
Police at preparations ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
Police at preparations ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: James Cleverly, Chairman of the Conservative Party leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Department leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) walks with his partner Carrie Symonds as they arrive at The Midland, near the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019, on the eve of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray (2L) and fellow protesters are seen outside the Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Armed Police are seen outside the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray holds placards outside the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Police patrol outside the Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers help prepare an auditorium with Conservative Party branding inside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers help prepare Conservative Party branding inside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Conservative Party branded banners are seen outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
A Conservative Party branded tent outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Conservative Party branded banners and police are seen outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: A man holds a European Union flag as he stands outside the Midland hotel ahead of the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, the Conservative Party Conference is still going ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: A general view of the Manchester Central Convention Complex ahead of the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess the Conservative Party Conference is still going ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Armed police officers are called to an incident as yet unspecified that caused the lock down of the International Lounge during on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Andrew Marr said Ms Sheriff, who claimed people quoted the Prime Minister's words in death threats to MPs, was talking about something "very specific".

Mr Johnson said: "In that case, that was a total misunderstanding and that was wrong."

He added: "I can certainly say sorry for the misunderstanding, but my intention was to refuse to be crowded out from using the word 'surrender' to describe the Surrender Act."

With the conference opening in Manchester on Sunday, Mr Johnson said the Government was embarking on "the biggest hospital building programme in a generation".

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he said spending on the NHS was "absolutely central" to his vision of a "united society and a united country".

Under the plans drawn up by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, he said they would be spending £13 billion on what officials described as "new" hospitals, either with entirely new buildings or gutting existing structures to create state-of-the-art facilities.

Taken alongside the extra £33.9 billion the Government has committed to the NHS each year by 2023, he said it was "the largest sum that has ever been invested in the NHS".

The building plan would begin with a £2.7 billion cash injection for six hospitals over the next five years.

The remaining projects, including up to a dozen smaller rural hospitals, would be completed over the second half of the next decade.

Ministers are also providing £100 million in "seed funding" to help 21 trusts develop plans to rebuild or construct 34 hospitals, including up to a dozen community hospitals in Dorset.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS