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Britain is a turbo-charging no-deal Brexit preparations: foreign minister

Newly appointed Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain July 25, 2019. REUTERS / Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) ̵

1; Britain is turbocharging its no-deal Brexit preparations and will be ready to leave the European Union with or without a deal on Oct. 31, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Monday.

Raab, an avowed Brexiteer, said the "undemocratic" Irish backstop had to go from the Withdrawal Agreement.

"We want a good deal with EU partners and friends but that must involve the abolition of the undemocratic backstop," Raab told the BBC. "What the prime minister has instructed and the cabinet has accepted is a turbo-charging of those preparations."

Ministers said on Sunday the government assumed the EU would not renegotiate the Brexit deal that it agreed with former Prime Minister Theresa May but which is opposed by her successor Boris Johnson, and was ramping up preparations to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without an agreement.

Conservative lawmaker Oliver Letwin, who is opposed to leaving the EU without a transitional accord, told BBC Radio that lawmakers would seek to stop a no-deal Brexit but that it was not clear whether parliament could prevent such a scenario.

"I'm accepting that we may not be able to (stop and no-deal Brexit)," he said.

"Nobody can tell if we will be able to get a majority in the parliament for some way of doing something other than having a no-deal exit at the last minute, if it turns out that this government has not got a deal , "Letwin said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by William Schomberg

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