UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he will try to find a way to bypass the law passed by parliament, which was voted through after 21 Conservative MPs rebelled against the government. The MPs were subsequently kicked out of the party.
The UK PM’s spokesman said Britain has no intention of seeking an extension to the transition period after it leaves the European Union if a divorce deal is struck with the bloc.
Boris Johnson said he was feeling “cautious” as he met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Brexit talks, with the British Prime Minister previously claiming he believes he can get a deal with the European Union within weeks.
“If we can make enough progress in the next few days, I intend to go to that crucial summit on Oct. 17, and finalise an agreement that will protect the interests of business and citizens on both sides of the Channel, and on both sides of the border in Ireland,”
Johnson said he was feeling “cautious” as he went into a restaurant with Juncker, where a UK government source said the leaders would be eating snails, salmon and cheese. The PM is expected to build his case for a revised deal that he hopes will be agreed at an EU leaders’ summit on October 17-18.
A deal reached between the EU and former Prime Minister Theresa May, which was later voted down by the British parliament, included a transition period until December 2020 to ensure an orderly exit from the bloc.
Commenting on the bill that would require Johnson to ask for an extension to the Brexit deadline if he can’t reach a deal, he said that while the fictional scientist Bruce Banner may be “bound in manacles” when he was angry he “explodes out of them” as Hulk.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets, 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 October 31.”
One rebel, Sam Gyimah – a rising star in former PM Theresa May’s government – joined the Liberal Democrats on Saturday. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has pledged to fight the next general election as the anti-Brexit party, with plans to revoke Article 50 altogether.
He said he was “very confident” that a solution could be found.
“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.
But while the possibility of Johnson breaking the law over Brexit has provoked disquiet in parliament, it may not have hurt him in the polls.
However, a separate poll by ComRes for the Sunday Express put Conservative support at just 28%, down from 30% and only a shade ahead of Labour at 27%. ComRes said just 12% thought Britain’s parliament could be trusted to do the right thing for the country.
UK PM Johnson’s reference to the Hulk led to both analysis and mockery on social media Sunday, with some commentators pointing out that Bruce Banner’s alter-ego may not have been a valid comparison for the British leader.