Underfire PM calls up Hulk, claims ‘huge’ Brexit progress
LONDON, Sept 15: Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted on Sunday that "huge" progress was being made in Brexit talks and declared Britain would break out of the European Union just like the comicbook hero Hulk.
The Conservative leader made the comments ahead of meetings with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said he was "very confident" of getting a divorce deal at an EU summit on October 17, in time for Brexit on October 31.
In an odd analogy, he compared Britain to the comic book character Hulk.
"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 Johnson is facing opposition in parliament to his threat to leave the EU without a deal next month if his negotiations fail.
On Saturday night, one of his Conservative MPs defected to the pro-European Liberal Democrats.
Former universities minister Sam Gyimah, who has called for a re-run of the 2016 Brexit referendum, condemned Johnson for "veering towards populism".
Meanwhile former prime minister David Cameron, who led the failed campaign to stay in the EU in 2016, accused Johnson in his memoirs of only pursuing Brexit out of political ambition.
The turmoil comes ahead of another crucial week, as the Supreme Court considers the legality of Johnson's decision to suspend parliament earlier this month until October 14. -AFP