UK: Underfire PM calls up Hulk, claims huge Brexit progress

Elias Hubbard
September 16, 2019

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson likened himself to the comic book character The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview while stressing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31.

The Prime Minister told the Mail On Sunday that the United Kingdom will break out of the European Union's "manacles" like Bruce Banner, who transforms into the giant green Hulk when angered.

The prime minister, who faces an October 31 deadline to withdraw from the European Union or seek a delay if he can't reach a deal, said the United Kingdom will break out of its "manacles" the way Bruce Banner did when he turned into his huge green alter ego.

"Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them", the prime minister said.

"The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets and he always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be - and that is the case for this country", he said.

But the publication of his memoirs comes at an explosive time, with Britain mired in political turmoil ahead of its scheduled exit from the bloc on October 31.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier, who will join the leaders for their talks in Juncker's native Grand Duchy, has said he has "no reason to be optimistic".

The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.

Johnson, who took over for former Prime Minister Theresa May who failed three times to get Parliament to sign off on an exit, said he plans to withdraw one way or the other on October 31.

Ahead of the referendum, the "Leave" campaign played up public fears over migration from other European Union countries by suggesting that Turkey - with its population of 76 million - would soon join the bloc and that Britain would be "swamped" with new migrants.

He said he was "very confident" that a solution could be found.

Former universities minister Sam Gyimah, who briefly ran against Johnson for the party leadership this summer, condemned him for "veering towards populism".

And Johnson, in turn, boasts that he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than ask his European counterparts to postpone Brexit for a third time into next year.

"There's a very, very good conversation going on about how to address the issues of the Northern Irish border".

'Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile, ' he tweeted.

"A huge amount of progress is being made". "The British public impressed?"

And the European Parliament will this week vote on a resolution rejecting Johnson's demand that the so-called "Irish backstop" clause be stripped from the deal.

Twenty-one Conservatives rebelled to back the law to delay Brexit and were expelled from the party, leaving Johnson without a majority in the House of Commons.

Barclay insisted "the backstop needs to go", while adding: "We can see a landing zone in terms of a future deal but there is significant work still to do".

He also slammed Michael Gove, a Tory cabinet minister and former friend who co-lead the Vote Leave campaign with Mr. Johnson.

He says of Johnson: "The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn't believe in because it would help his political career".

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay praised Mr Johnson's novel metaphor and even revived another recent favourite of the Conservative Party - an assertion that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a "chicken" for not voting for an early general election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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