Britain will break out of EU’s ‘man­a­cles’

De­fi­ant John­son vows Oct. 31 Brexit

The Korea Times - - WORLD BUSINESS -

LON­DON (Reuters) — Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son likened him­self to the unruly comic book char­ac­ter The In­cred­i­ble Hulk late on Satur­day in a newspaper in­ter­view where he stressed his de­ter­mi­na­tion to take Britain out of the Euro­pean Union on Oct. 31.

The Mail on Sun­day newspaper re­ported that John­son said he would find a way to cir­cum­vent a re­cent par­lia­ment vote or­der­ing him to de­lay Brexit rather than take Britain out of the E.U. with­out a tran­si­tion deal to ease the eco­nomic shock.

“The mad­der Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” John­son was quoted as say­ing. “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 Oct. 31.”

Britain’s par­lia­ment has re­peat­edly re­jected the exit deal John­son’s pre­de­ces­sor Theresa May ne­go­ti­ated with the E.U., and this month re­jected leav­ing with­out a deal an­ger­ing many Bri­tons who voted to leave the bloc more than three years ago.

John­son has said he wants to ne­go­ti­ate a new deal that does not in­volve a ‘back­stop’ which would po­ten­tially tie Britain against its will to EU rules af­ter it leaves in or­der to avoid checks on the bor­der be­tween Ireland and North­ern Ireland.

The E.U. has so far in­sisted on the back­stop, and Britain has not pre­sented any de­tailed al­ter­na­tive.

Nonethe­less, John­son said he was “very con­fi­dent” ahead of a meet­ing with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker on Mon­day.

“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,” John­son told the Mail on Sun­day, with­out giv­ing de­tails.

John­son drew par­al­lels be­tween Britain’s sit­u­a­tion in Brexit talks and the frus­tra­tions felt by fic­tional sci­en­tist Bruce Ban­ner, who when en­raged turned into The In­cred­i­ble Hulk, fre­quently leav­ing be­hind a trail of de­struc­tion.

“Ban­ner might be bound in man­a­cles, but when pro­voked he would ex­plode out of them,” he said.

Ear­lier on Satur­day, for­mer Con­ser­va­tive min­is­ter Sam Gy­imah said he was switch­ing to the pro-E.U. Lib­eral Demo­crat party in protest at John­son’s Brexit poli­cies and political style.

Opin­ion polls late on Satur­day painted a con­flict­ing pic­ture of the Con­ser­va­tive Party’s political for­tunes un­der John­son, who wants to hold an early elec­tion to re­gain a work­ing ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment.

A poll con­ducted by Opinium for the Ob­server newspaper showed Con­ser­va­tive sup­port rose to 37 per­cent from 35 per­cent over the past week, while Jeremy Cor­byn’s Labour held at 25 per­cent and Lib­eral Demo­crat sup­port dropped to 16 per­cent from 17 per­cent. Sup­port for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party re­mained at 13 per­cent.

How­ever, a sep­a­rate poll by ComRes for the Sun­day Ex­press put Con­ser­va­tive sup­port at just 28 per­cent, down from 30 per­cent and only a shade ahead of Labour at 27 per­cent.

ComRes said just 12 per­cent of the more than 2,000 peo­ple it sur­vey thought Britain’s par­lia­ment could be trusted to do the right thing for the coun­try.

AP-Yon­hap

Britain’s Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son makes a speech at the Con­ven­tion of the North at the Magna Cen­tre in Rother­ham, Eng­land, Fri­day.

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