British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there must be an election so the British public can decide whether to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 — as he wishes — or remain in the bloc for longer.
Johnson says "I don't want an election at all but frankly I can't see any other way" to end the Brexit impasse.
On Wednesday, lawmakers rejected Johnson's bid to call an early election for Oct. 15, and also made moves to stop Johnson from taking Britain out of the EU at the end of next month even if there is no deal with Brussels to pave the way.
Johnson said that legislation would "scupper our negotiating power" and hand control to the EU.
On a visit to a police academy, he said whether the U.K. left the EU on Oct. 31 "really should be a matter for the people of this country to decide."
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tiptoed into the Brexit fury as he met with embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Wrapping up a week in Europe, Pence thanked Johnson for the welcome "at a very busy time here in the United Kingdom."
Johnson downplayed the Brexit drama, saying it's "always busy."
Pence delivered greetings from President Donald Trump and said Trump has asked him to assure Johnson that the U.S. "supports the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union" and "is ready, willing and able to immediately negotiate a free trade agreement with the U.K."
Johnson replied that was "fantastic." He expressed hope for the removal of trade barriers on British products including lamb, beef and haggis, a Scottish delicacy made with the lungs of sheep.