Boris Johnson urges MPs to end 'painful chapter in history' by supporting his Brexit deal

18 October 2019, 23:23

Boris Johnson speaks during the European Council Summit in Brussels
Boris Johnson speaks during the European Council Summit in Brussels. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Boris Johnson has urged MPs to end a “painful chapter” in Britain’s history by endorsing his Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister attempted to rally support ahead of Saturday’s crunch vote, which looks set to be close.

With no Commons majority and the DUP dismissing his plan, Mr Johnson must appeal for support from the Tory rebels he expelled and Labour MPs wanting to avoid a deal-less departure.

Writing in The Sun, he said: "Today can be the day we get Brexit done.

"There have been any number of false dawns. Deadlines for our departure have come and gone.

"I ask everyone to cast their mind forward to the end of today - and imagine what it could be like if the new Brexit deal has been approved.

"In less than two weeks, on October 31, we would be out of the EU.

"A difficult, divisive and - yes - painful chapter in our history would be at an end."

Hundreds of thousands of protestors are expected to descend on London on Saturday for a People's Vote march in support of a second referendum.

The campaign group promises it will be "one of the largest protest marches Britain has ever seen".

Protesters will gather at Park Lane at 12pm, a major road in central London, and walk towards Parliament Square.

Earlier, Mr Johnson said that the Brexit deal he struck with Brussels "busts" the UK out of the Northern Ireland backstop agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.

Calling for support for the deal, Mr Johnson told ITV News: "It busts out of [the] backstop, the previous problem with the deal, the previous deal that kept us locked in the customs union and the single market so, it's a vast, vast, vast step forward.

Asked whether Saturday's vote was the biggest thing he has done professionally, the PM said: "Well I wouldn't deny that, I think it's a very big moment for our country."

Mr Johnson added: "There's no better outcome than the one I'm advocating tomorrow."

The PM said he wanted the country to move on from Brexit.

"This has been a long, exhausting and quite divisive business, Brexit.

"I hope that people will think well, you know, what's the balance, what do our constituents really want? Do they want us to keep going with this argument, do they want more division and delay?"

Sir Oliver Letwin, the former Tory Cabinet minister who now sits as an independent, has thrown the so-called "super Saturday" session of Parliament into new territory by tabling a motion allowing for amendments to Government proposals.

The MP has put forward an amendment that, if accepted by the Speaker and approved by MPs, would withhold approval of the deal unless and until implementing legislation has passed.

Mr Letwin said: "In short, my aim is to ensure that Boris's deal succeeds, but that we have an insurance policy which prevents the UK from crashing out on 31 October by mistake if something goes wrong during the passage of the implementing legislation."