British Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised the stakes Monday in a pivotal week of the Brexit saga by threatening to purge ruling party lawmakers who try to block a no-deal divorce with the EU. The warning came as heavyweights from the governing Conservatives such as former finance minister Philip Hammond plotted a way to keep the premier from taking Britain out of the European Union without an agreement on October 31.
Johnson insists that he must keep the chaotic option open to get Brussels to relent at the last moment and agree a better economic deal for Britain.
He poured more oil on the political fire by deciding last week to suspend parliament — a legal but highly contentious manoeuvre — for over a month. This means pro-European lawmakers will have just days to try to tie Johnson’s hands and avoid a painful split from Brussels when they return from their summer break on Tuesday.
Johnson has upturned political traditions and inflamed passions on both sides of the Brexit chasm since taking over from Theresa May in July. —AFP