Friday, August 23, 2019 | ePaper

Johnson suggests EU would bear some blame for no-deal Brexit

  • Print


Boris Johnson holds a plastic wrapped kipper fish during a hustings event in London, Britain.



Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be Britain's next prime minister, suggested Wednesday that the EU would bear some responsibility if he took his country out of the bloc without a divorce deal.
The former London mayor has based his campaign to replace Theresa May on a promise to deliver Brexit as planned on October 31, with or without an agreement with Brussels.
In a final campaign event in London ahead of the announcement of the winner next week, Johnson said that he would seek to negotiate new exit terms with the European Union over the summer.
But he said that if the EU refused to be flexible or compromise on the existing withdrawal agreement, "if they won't change a dot or a comma… then obviously we have no choice but to get ready to come out on different terms".
EU leaders have repeatedly said they will not renegotiate the divorce text they struck with May last year, even though it has been rejected by British lawmakers three times.
But Johnson and his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, insist they will try, notably by removing the controversial "backstop" plan to keep open the border with Ireland.
They have threatened to walk away if they fail - tough talk that caused the pound to fall Wednesday to its lowest level against the US dollar in more than two years.
May is stepping down after failing to get her divorce deal through parliament, an effort that forced her to delay Brexit twice.
Her successor, chosen by around 160,000 members of the ruling Conservatives in a postal ballot, will be named party leader on July 23 and automatically become prime minister the following day.
Many Tory members have already voted, and opinion polls suggest an easy win for Johnson, a leader of the 2016 referendum campaign for Brexit.
"It's in his blood, he's got the dynamism to see it through," said 70-year-old party member Ron Busby.
In a speech earlier, May deplored the trend towards "absolutism" in politics around the world, and urged her successor to compromise to get a Brexit deal.
"Whatever path we take must be sustainable for the long-term, so that delivering Brexit brings our country back together. That has to mean some kind of compromise," she said.
·    Rules out Farage deal -

Voter anger over the Brexit delays has seen a surge of support for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which backs "no deal".
Asked on Wednesday if he would work with Farage, Johnson said: "I rule it out."
A majority of MPs in the House of Commons oppose a no-deal Brexit, fearing the economic impact, but attempts to legislate to block it have failed.
Johnson declined to comment on reports that he might end the current parliamentary session so MPs would not be sitting in the run-up to October 31.

More News For this Category

Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system

Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system

AFP, Tehran :Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States.Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic's

Russia sends 'Fedor' its first humanoid robot into space

Russia sends 'Fedor' its first humanoid robot into space

AFP, Moscow :Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.Named Fedor, for

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel area

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel area

AP, Damascus :Syria's Foreign Ministry says a "humanitarian corridor" has been opened so that civilians in a besieged, rebel-held area in the north of Hama province can leave.The ministry said

N Korea dismisses nuclear talks if US 'hostile military moves' continue

N Korea dismisses nuclear talks if US 'hostile military moves' continue

AFP, Seoul :North Korea said Thursday it has "no interest" in dialogue unless Washington stops "escalating hostile military moves", as a senior US envoy visited Seoul with an eye on

Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

AP, Helsinki :Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the test of a new U.S. missile banned under a now-defunct arms treaty has raised new threats to Russia and will

News In Brief

Rebels claim downing US drone over YemenAP, Cairo Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed they shot down a U.S. drone over the country's north, as a leading rights group said Wednesday the

Macron to discuss Kashmir with Modi  ahead of G7 Summit

Macron to discuss Kashmir with Modi ahead of G7 Summit

AFP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss tensions in the divided region of Kashmir with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two meet in Paris this week, a

Johnson, Merkel to face off in first Brexit talks

Johnson, Merkel to face off in first Brexit talks

AFP, Berlin :British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Berlin on Wednesday to kick off a marathon of tense talks with key European and international leaders as the threat of a

Trump scraps Denmark visit after Danes say Greenland not for sale

Trump scraps Denmark visit after Danes say Greenland not for sale

US President Donald Trump Tuesday postponed a planned visit to Denmark after Danish officials insisted its autonomous territory of Greenland was not for sale.Trump's decision confirms just how interested he

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Gulf shipping

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Gulf shipping

Reuters, Sydney Australia will join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels traveling through key Middle East waterways after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, Prime Minister