Simon Hoare takes Johnson and Hunt to task over backstop

U.K.'s Boris Johnson Warns Trump He Won't Support a War With Iran

U.K.'s Boris Johnson Warns Trump He Won't Support a War With Iran

"One of the options being considered by the Johnson campaign is to send MPs (members of parliament) away in late October to give them less chance to, in some way, block a no-deal Brexit", said Sam Coates, Sky's deputy political editor. A longer transition could only end once the new trade deal was in place.

Meanwhile, Brussels has repeatedly stated that the withdrawal agreement is not up for negotiation and maintain that the backstop is necessary to prevent the return of a hard border between EU-member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

A no-deal Brexit could tip Britain into recession, undermine sluggish euro zone growth and weaken London's claim to be the world's pre-eminent global financial center.

But EU leaders want to move on from Brexit, and say much will depend on how Johnson - who has cast himself as Britain's Brexiteer-in-chief - acts if he becomes premier.

"If the new government tries to drive the United Kingdom over a cliff edge called no-deal Brexit, I will do everything I can to stop that happening", he said. "And especially for a Brexiteer".

However, this offer has already failed to convince the fractious United Kingdom parliament and the Brexit deal was defeated there two more times since.

The EU could offer London a "bare-bones" free-trade deal and commit to working right after Brexit on alternatives to the backstop, a way of avoiding extensive checks on the Irish border that is vehemently opposed by many in Britain.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday he would not stay in his job when the country's next prime minister takes over next week, and he would do everything he could to stop a no-deal Brexit.

An invisible border is crucial to the regional economy, and also underpins the peace process that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

The other option is simply to delay Brexit - a course Johnson has repeatedly ruled out and which some European Union leaders see as pointless unless there is the chance of breaking the political deadlock in London.