Boris Johnson Likens Himself to the Hulk in Brexit Fight - NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Boris Johnson Likens Himself to the Hulk in Brexit Fight

Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Boris Johnson Likens Himself to the Hulk in Brexit Fight
    Christopher Furlong/Pool photo via AP
    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre in Rotherham, England, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Johnson will meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for Brexit talks Monday in Luxembourg. The Brexit negotiations have produced few signs of progress as the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union bloc nears.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to the Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.

    Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.

    "The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets," he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.

    Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland's highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.

    Britain Suspends Parliament Amid Brexit Chaos

    [NATL] Britain Suspends Parliament Amid Brexit Chaos and Crisis

    The British government has formally suspended parliament, sending lawmakers home for five weeks amid a Brexit crisis early Tuesday, but only after House of Commons Speaker John Bercow voiced his dismay, calling it "an act of executive fiat." Opposition lawmakers chanted "shame on you," as Bercow and conservative leaders left the room.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019)

    Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.

    He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson's invocation of the Hulk.

    The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.

    "Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile," he tweeted. "Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?"

    Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday's meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.

    "It would be terrible chaos," he said in an interview with Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio. "And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate."

    ‘Sit Up, Man!’ British Politician Criticized for Slouching

    [NATL] ‘Sit Up, Man!’ British Politician Criticized for Slouching

    British conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, was criticized for stretching out across a bench as lawmakers discussed a vote allowing them to take control and introduce a bill that would seek to prevent a “no deal” Brexit.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019)

    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.

    Britain's Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.

    The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.

    Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.

    The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.

    Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.

    Full Press Conference: Donald Trump and Theresa May

    [NATL] Full Press Conference: Donald Trump and Theresa May

    President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May talked about the future of Brexit and the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. during a joint press conference Tuesday in London.

    (Published Tuesday, June 4, 2019)

    Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn't really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson's help during the hard-fought campaign.

    Cameron 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."

    Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.

    Associated Press writer Geir Moulson contributed.