Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Remain MPs and EU are collaborating to stop Brexit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson answered questions from the public in a first Facebook "People's PMQs"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson answered questions from the public in a first Facebook "People's PMQs"
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Boris Johnson has accused Remain MPs and EU negotiators of a "terrible kind of collaboration" to block Brexit.

The Prime Minister said that the lack of movement by EU officials on re-negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement was due to a belief that the House of Commons would ultimately prevent the UK leaving the European Union.

Speaking from Downing Street during a live "People's PMQs" on Facebook, Mr Johnson was answering a question from "Luther in Cheshire" about how he planned to ensure the UK left the EU on October 31 given the EU's current refusal to re-open the deal struck by Theresa May's government and the opposition in Parliament.

The Prime Minister said: "It's the crucial question. There's a terrible kind of collaboration, as it were, going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.

"Our European friends are not moving in their opposition, in their willingness to compromise, they're not compromising at all on the Withdrawal Agreement even though it's been thrown out three times they're sticking with every letter, every comma of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, because they still think Brexit can be blocked in Parliament,

"The awful thing is that the longer that goes on the more likely it is we will be forced to leave with a no deal Brexit, which is not what I want or what were aiming for, but we need our European friends to compromise but the more they think Brexit can be blocked, the more adamant they are on sticking to their position.

"But I remain confident we'll get there, we will come out of the EU on October 31 because in the end our friends in other European capitals and our MPs will see it's vital to get on and do it."

But asked if he was going to call a general election, he avoided answering directly, saying: "I think the British public have had a lot of elections I think what they want us to do is get on and deliver Brexit on Oct 31 and I never tire of telling you that is what we're going to do."

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Mr Johnson also answered questions on knife crime - where he continued to back the controversial stop and search policy - and mental health, as well as a question from "Mickey, a farmer in Scotland" on what he would do to "protect our union of nations."

He said: "There's lots of things I think we should be doing, but one, as Minister for the Union I think is important to stress, is the benefit that flow to us all from the Union.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson tells Scots: Work with me to save the Union
"I was bowled over in Scotland recently to see investments flowing.... last two times I've been there I went to the nuclear submarine base in Faslane and the ship building yard in Govan and I saw thousands of high class, high skill jobs in Scotland that are directly created as a result of investments from the whole of the UK, showing how Scotland in particular, benefits from participation in the most successful political Union of the last three centuries.

"I think it's very important as Prime Minister and Minister for the Union that it's important I talk up those successes, whether it's in science, R&D or education and all the investment that flows to Northern Ireland. Wales, Scotland, England as part of the union."He added that he believed Brexit was "at least partly" a result of people feel disenfranchised. "One of the things I want to do before we even deliver Brexit is to do more to unite our country and bring it together. I do think Brexit was, at least partly, about people in towns and regions of the UK feeling they weren't being heard and we want to do more to revive local democracy, devolving power to towns and communities across the UK but also levelling up across the UK.

"I believe that talent and genius is uniformly distributed across the UK but opportunity is unfairly distributed and the three things you need to do to bring the country together are improve education, invest in our schools, further education in skills, invest in transport infrastructure and technology and in rural regions in particular, we need to invest in full fibre broadband for everyone."

And in a slight dig at his opponent Jeremy Corbyn, when answering a question on his political heroes, he opted for Pericles of Athens, "who believed in all sorts of wonderful things... he believed in the importance of the many not the few.

"But above all he will go down as one of the most powerful articulators of democracy, that the people are ultimately in charge of their own destiny, and it's because of the people that will be out of the European Union on October 31."

WATCH: Boris Johnson's People's PMQs