Boris Johnson news – live: PM to meet Juncker for Brexit talks after ‘infantile’ Hulk comparison draws widespread ridicule

Boris Johnson news – live: PM to meet Juncker for Brexit talks after ‘infantile’ Hulk comparison draws widespread ridicule

Boris Johnson news – live: PM to meet Juncker for Brexit talks after ‘infantile’ Hulk comparison draws widespread ridicule | The Independent


Monday 16 September 2019 09:23

Boris Johnson travels to Luxembourg today and is expected to warn European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that he will to reject any further delays to Brexit.

After Mr Johnson compared himself to the Hulk, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the comparison was “infantile”, while Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo reminded the PM the character is “dense and destructive”.

Chuka Umunna, set to give a keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in Bournemouth this morning, said he wants the party to fight to rejoin the EU if Brexit happens.


Finnish European affairs minister Tytti Tuppurainen said the UK still had not put forward any proposals that could “compensate” for the removal of the Irish backstop.


“We have to remain open and see what happens in the domestic politics of the United Kingdom,” she said as she arrived at a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels.


“Of course the European Union is always ready to negotiate when a proper proposal from the United Kingdom side is presented. So far I haven’t seen any proposal that would compensate.”


Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has insisted the government would comply with the law.


And yet he said there were still “considerations” about it would obey the legislation passed in parliament last week. “I think the precise implications of the legislation need to be looked at very carefully,” he told the Today programme.


“We are doing that … the legislation that was required, the surrender bill, is deeply, deeply flawed.”



Tory rebel David Gauke has said Boris Johnson must obey the law on Brexit.


Referring to the PM’s Incredible Hulk analogy, Gauke, who lost the Tory whip over his Brexit stance, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Maybe the Incredible Hulk doesn’t have to comply with the law, but the British government does.


“And if Parliament has neither supported a deal, nor supported a no-deal departure, then the law is clear that he has to seek an extension, the prime minister has to seek an extension and that is what he will have to do.


“That is what the law states.”


Dominic Cummings, the PM’s most senior adviser, said the government could suspend parliament for a second time if it loses a Supreme Court battle on Tuesday.


But a No 10 source said Cummings only made the double prorogation comment as “a joke”.


Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the details.



Boris Johnson has said he believes “passionately” that a new Brexit deal can be struck with Brussels as he prepares to hold his first face-to-face talks as PM with Jean-Claude Juncker in today


But he will warn the European Commission president – during a working lunch of snails, salmon and cheese – that he will reject any offer to delay Britain’s departure.


Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Johnson said he was working “flat out” to reach an agreement.


He said: “If we can make enough progress in the next few days, I intend to go to that crucial summit on October 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 … I believe passionately that we can do it.”


No 10 made clear the PM will stress he wants a new deal agreed by 18 October.


Boris Johnson asked whether Michael Gove was “a bit cracked” after the Brexiteer betrayed him during the 2016 Tory leadership race, David Cameron has said.


The former prime minister recalled the fraught battle to replace him in No 10 in his memoir, which is being serialised in The Times ahead of its publication on Thursday.


Gove initially supported Johnson’s campaign but then dramatically withdrew his backing and announced he would stand himself – leading the now-PM to quit the contest.


Johnson also texted Cameron to say he felt like a “leper” in the aftermath of the referendum.


Chuka Umunna has told The Independent’s editor he would want the Lib Dems to fight to rejoin the EU even if Brexit happens.


As well as stressing the party pro-European credentials, the foreign affairs spokesperson is expected to brand Johnson a “peddler of hate” in his keynote speech at the Bournemouth conference today.



As you may be aware Boris Johnson compared himself to the Hulk at the weekend, provoking much mirth and mockery.


The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said: “Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile.”


And Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has also weighed in – claiming the monster he played can be “dense and destructive”.



Good morning and welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage of events at Westminster and beyond.

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