August 28, 2019 / 2:06 PM / 3 months ago

Britain is committed to leaving EU on Oct. 31: UK's Brexit minister

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay walks at Downing Street in London, Britain, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

PARIS (Reuters) - The United Kingdom is committed to leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, said British Brexit minister Stephen Barclay on Wednesday, speaking just hours after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to limit parliament’s ability to derail Brexit.

Barclay also reiterated Britain’s opposition to the Irish backstop, a protocol negotiated by Johnson’s predecessor to prevent a hard border between Ireland and the province of Northern Ireland.

“But if a compromise cannot be found, then we have been clear that we are leaving whatever the circumstances, on the 31st of October,” said Barclay, speaking in Paris at a conference hosted by the MEDEF French business organization.

“People voted for the Brexit, and it is important for democracy that we deliver,” added Barclay.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Johnson moved to limit parliament’s opportunity to derail Brexit by cutting the amount of time it sits between now and EU exit day on Oct. 31, infuriating opponents who accused him of leading a “very British coup”.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Myriam Rivet; Editing by Richard Lough

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