Britain’s foreign minister, Dominic Raab, said Brussels would have to take responsibility for a no-deal Brexit if it does not compromise.
In an interview with Reuters during a visit to Mexico City, Raab said the British government wanted to leave the European Union with a deal but would do so without one if EU negotiators did not alter their stance.
"If the position from the EU is that the withdrawal agreement can't be changed - whether it's add-ons or subtractions - full stop, which is their position today, then let's face it, they will be taking the decision to see the UK leave on no-deal terms and that's a responsibility they will have to bear," Raab said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his team of advisors have said they are working hard to reach a deal with the EU and if Britain can get changes to the so-called backstop, "there is a good deal to be done."
Speaking to the BBC’s radio 4, Raab commented, “What people want to know above all is the reassurance first of all that we are going to get Brexit delivered by the end of October and that’s the massive trust issue here if you want to frame it in those terms.”
He added, “Whilst we want to deal with our EU friends and partners it must abolish the undemocratic back-stop.”
The European Union has said the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the previous British administration will not be re-opened.
Asked if there were any circumstances under which Britain would countenance not leaving the European Union on October 31st, as is currently foreseen, Raab responded by saying that the prime minister had been very clear about leaving at the end of October with a deal but if there was no movement or flexibility from the EU side then the UK would have to work on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
Raab, who took office two weeks ago, was in Mexico as part of a visit to North America to strengthen Britain's economic ties with the region. Arguing there were "huge opportunities" for trade and investment with Mexico, he said it was too early to forecast how quickly a joint free trade deal could be sealed.