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September 16, 2019

Boris calls up Hulk, claims ‘huge’ Brexit progress

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P
Pa
September 16, 2019

LONDON: Britain will break out of the European Union’s “manacles” like The Incredible Hulk if a Brexit deal cannot be struck by the end of next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Johnson repeated his vow to take the UK out of the bloc on October 31 — suggesting he could ignore legislation designed to prevent a no-deal in order to fulfil his promise. In an interview with the Mail On Sunday, Johnson — who will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg this week — likened Britain to the fictional scientist Bruce Banner, who transforms into the monstrous green Hulk when he is angry in the Marvel superhero comics and movies.

“Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them... Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be — and that is the case for this country. We will come out on October 31 and we will get it done.”

The PM struck a confident tone on reaching a Brexit deal, telling the paper he thinks “we will get there” and that a “huge amount of progress is being made”. He said: “I will be talking to Jean-Claude about how we’re going to do it. I’m very confident.

“When I got this job everybody was saying there can be absolutely no change to the Withdrawal Agreement, the backstop was immutable, the arrangements by which the UK was kept locked in to the EU forever, they said no-one could change that.

“They have already moved off that and, as you know, there’s a very, very good conversation going on about how to address the issues of the Northern Irish border. A huge amount of progress is being made.”

Escargot, salmon and fromage will be on the menu when Johnson and Juncker meet for lunch on Monday. The PM, accompanied by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and Number 10’s Brexit sherpa David Frost, will also meet the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier during the Luxembourg visit.

However, Downing Street has cautioned that today’s (Monday) meetings will not be a “big breakthrough” moment in the government’s bid to strike a deal with Brussels.Ahead of the trip, Johnson added: “Don’t be fooled by (Labour leader Jeremy) Corbyn and the ringleaders. On the one hand, they say I don’t want a deal. On the other, they want to force me to extend. Both are wrong. I am straining to get a deal, but I will also end the uncertainty and take us out on the October 31.”

It came as research by Opinium suggested the Conservatives have increased their poll lead to 12 points above Labour. The pollsters put the Tories on 37 per cent, with Labour on 25 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 16 per cent and the Brexit Party on 13 per cent.A separate poll by ComRes and the Sunday Express suggested just one in 10 people think parliament “works well and is fit for the 21st century”.

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