UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk as he promises to ignore a new House of Commons legislation ordering him to delay Brexit if negotiations break down.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” the Prime Minister told The Mail in an exclusive interview on Sunday, while insisting that Britain will break out of the “manacles” of the European Union (EU).
Johnson’s remark comes ahead of a meeting on Monday with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg.
He said that the UK would emulate Bruce Banner, the mild-mannered Marvel scientist who transforms into the Hulk when angry.
“Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them. 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 and we will get it done.”
In the interview, Johnson also said that there were “real signs of movement” in Berlin, Paris and Dublin over ditching the backstop that would tie the UK or Northern Ireland to EU rules – the issue which proved fatal to former Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal.
“I think that we will get there,” he said. “I will be talking to Jean-Claude about how we’re going to do it.
“I’m very confident. When I got this job everybody was saying there can be absolutely no change to the Withdrawal Agreement, the backstop was immutable, the arrangements by which the UK was kept locked in to the EU forever, they said no one could change that.
“They have already moved off that and, as you know, 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,” he told The Mail.
If he fails to strike a deal, Johnson is adamant that he will not obey Parliament’s order to ask the EU to extend the Brexit deadline from October 31 to January 31, 2020.
The Prime Minister had earlier said that he would rather “die in a ditch” than to delay Brexit.
Downing Street strategists have said that they have devised a secret plan, known only to the Prime Ministed and three key advisers, which they claim will allow them to ignore the legislation without breaking the law – although most legal experts were sceptical that such a ruse could work.