Boris Johnson holds first face-to-face Brexit talks with EU

Boris Johnson will hold his first meeting with the EU

Monday, September 16, 2019

Boris Johnson said he believed “passionately” he could strike a new Brexit deal with the European Union ahead of talks with Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Prime Minister will head to Luxembourg on Monday and is expected to warn the European Commission president he would reject any offer of a delay.

Mr Johnson said he was working “flat out” to get an agreement but will leave the trading bloc on October 31 if no deal can be reached.

“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,” he said.

“I believe passionately that we can do it, and I believe that such an agreement is in the interests not just of the UK but also of our European friends.”

The Prime Minister will also meet Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel and the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Mr Johnson faced international criticism over the weekend after he compared leaving the EU to the Incredible Hulk.

He said: “Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be - and that is the case for this country.”

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt called the metaphor “infantile” and questioned “is the EU supposed to be scared by this?”

US actor Mark Ruffalo, who has played the comic book character on screen since 2012, said Mr Johnson misunderstood the green giant.

He tweeted: “Boris Johnson forgets that the Hulk only fights for the good of the whole. Mad and strong can also be dense and destructive. The Hulk works best when he is in unison with a team, and is a disaster when he is alone.”

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