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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

British PM uses Hulk as metaphor to claim Brexit talks progress, EU is not impressed

In comments ahead of meetings with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday, Johnson told the Mail on Sunday newspaper he was “very confident” of getting a divorce deal at an EU summit on October 17, in time for Brexit on October 31.

world Updated: Sep 16, 2019 06:22 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
London
Boris Johnson’s comparison with Hulk drew derision from Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament.
Boris Johnson’s comparison with Hulk drew derision from Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament. (HT ARCHIVE)
         

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday declared Britain would break out of the European Union just like the comic book hero The Incredible Hulk and hailed “huge” progress towards getting a divorce deal.

In comments ahead of meetings with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday, Johnson told the Mail on Sunday newspaper he was “very confident” of getting a divorce deal at an EU summit on October 17, in time for Brexit on October 31.

But his optimism is not universally shared, and a senior EU diplomat told AFP there was “nothing tangible so far” in terms of progress. In an odd analogy, Johnson compared Britain to the Marvel Comics character Hulk, the destructive alter ego of scientist Bruce Banner who turns into the ferocious green giant when enraged or stressed. “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.

His comparison with Hulk drew derision from Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament. “Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile. Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?” he tweeted.

However, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told Sky News: “The Hulk was a winner and was extremely popular.”

First Published: Sep 16, 2019 05:23 IST

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