European Union Dismay As Boris Johnson Compares Himself To Hulk

European Union Dismay As Boris Johnson Compares Himself To Hulk

New Delhi: European officials have reacted with exasperation after Boris Johnson compared himself to the Incredible Hulk throwing off the shackles of the EU the day before he was due to travel to Luxembourg for talks in pursuit of a Brexit deal.

No 10 struck a combative tone before the scheduled meeting with European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, saying the prime minister would tell him that the UK must reject any new Brexit deadline.

A Downing Street source said that Johnson would “stress to Mr Juncker that, while he wants to secure a deal, if no deal can be agreed by 18 October his policy is to leave without a deal on 31 October – and reject any delay offered by the EU”.

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In turn, Juncker was expected to ask Johnson to spell out his ideas for replacing the Irish backstop, the key issue in any new Brexit deal.

The robust No 10 line came amid renewed speculation that Johnson could be considering ways to get around the backbench rebel law mandating a Brexit extension in case of a no-deal by potentially seeking loopholes in the legislation, or suspending parliament again, with reports saying his chief aide, Dominic Cummings, had raised the latter idea.

However, it is understood Downing Street will not make any decisions before an expected supreme court ruling later this week on legal challenges to the decision to suspend parliament for five weeks.
The lunch meeting with Juncker comes 26 days after Johnson met Angela Merkel in Berlin and declared he had 30 days to persuade the EU there was a viable alternative to the backstop, but as yet nothing has emerged.

Johnson insisted “a huge amount of progress” was being made, a view dismissed in Brussels. The PM also used a newspaper interview to liken himself to the Incredible Hulk, poised to break free of the EU’s “manacles”, saying: “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.”

The parallel prompted annoyance in Brussels. Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit representative for the European parliament, tweeted that it was “infantile”.

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