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Saturday
October 2019
8:18 PM IST
News Headlines
Netherlands'' King Willem-Alexander , Queen Maxima, gets warm welcome in Alappuzha        PM Modi has no understanding of economy: Rahul        INX Media: Chidambaram conspired with son, misused official position, says CBI charge sheet        US dream shattered, 311 Indians land in Delhi after deportation from Mexico        US to host 2020 G7 summit at a Trump golf resort        Trump speaks over phone with Turkey''s Erdogan over cease-fire in Syria        Twin blasts in Afghanistan''s mosque kill 62        China''s Q3 GDP growth slows to 6%, slowest in 27 years        Ranchi Test: India eye clean sweep against Proteas        Pakistan sacks Sarfaraz as captain in Test, T20I formats        Mentally-unstable man jumps inside lion enclosure in Delhi zoo, escapes unhurt        BSF jawan killed, 1 injured in firing by Bangladeshi troops along border in West Bengal        At least 35 people killed in bus accident in western Saudi Arabia        UK, EU hail new Brexit deal, but Parliament sign-off hangs in balance        Nearly 100 people injured in Catalonia unrest on Wednesday: Medics        Indo-Pak bilateral ties subject to approval from PMs of both countries: Ganguly        Aiden Markram ruled out of Ranchi Test with wrist injury        Indian challenge ends at Denmark Open        Aussie cricketer Watson apologies for 'illicit' social media posts        India's performance was no match to atmosphere at Salt Lake: Chhetri        
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International News
Underfire PM calls up Hulk, claims 'huge' Brexit progress
 
London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted Sunday that "huge" progress was being made in Brexit talks and declared Britain would break out of the European Union just like the comicbook hero Hulk.

The Conservative leader made the comments ahead of meetings with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Monday.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said he was "very confident" of getting a divorce deal at an EU summit on October 17, in time for Brexit on October 31.

In an odd analogy, he compared Britain to the comic book character Hulk.

"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.

But Johnson is facing opposition in parliament to his threat to leave the EU without a deal next month if his negotiations fail.

On Saturday night, one of his Conservative MPs defected to the pro-European Liberal Democrats.

Former universities minister Sam Gyimah, who has called for a re-run of the 2016 Brexit referendum, condemned Johnson for "veering towards populism".

Meanwhile former prime minister David Cameron, who led the failed campaign to stay in the EU in 2016, accused Johnson in his memoirs of only pursuing Brexit out of political ambition.

The turmoil comes ahead of another crucial week, as the Supreme Court considers the legality of Johnson's decision to suspend parliament earlier this month until October 14.

Johnson was a leading "Leave" campaigner in the referendum, and took office in July promising to deliver Brexit no matter what.

He wants to renegotiate the terms struck by his predecessor Theresa May, which MPs have rejected, but EU leaders have so far refused.

He told the Mail there was a "very good conversation" going on about the key sticking point, the issue of the Irish border.

"A huge amount of progress is being made," he said.

Much of the opposition in London to the current Brexit deal is focused on the so-called backstop plan to keep open the Irish border.

It could keep Britain indefinitely tied to EU trade rules to avoid frontier checks between British Northern and EU member Ireland.

Brexit minister Steve Barclay insisted "the backstop needs to go", but fuelled speculation that an alternative might be taking shape.

"We can see a landing zone in terms of a future deal but there is significant work still to do," he told Sky News television on Sunday.

"The talks tomorrow will be an important step forward as part of that and they build on significant discussions that have been happening at a technical level."

Johnson repeated that "under no circumstances" would he delay Brexit.

However, he may have no choice after MPs last week passed a law to postpone until January if he does not get a divorce deal by the EU summit.

Twenty-one Conservatives rebelled to back the law and were expelled from the party, leaving Johnson without a majority in the House of Commons.

One of the rebels was Gyimah, who becomes the Lib Dems' 18th MP in the 650-seat chamber.

The 43-year-old was once viewed as a rising star in the Conservatives and briefly ran against Johnson for the party leadership.

But he said Johnson had left moderates like him with a "stark choice... to accept a no deal Brexit or walk away from public life".

He told The Observer newspaper: "It is beyond Brexit -- how you conduct politics and the veering towards populism and English nationalism."

Johnson also suffered fresh criticism from his predecessor, Cameron, whose memoir "For The Record", was serialised in the Sunday Times ahead of its publication on Thursday.

Cameron said Johnson only backed Brexit because he believed it would make him the "darling" of the Tory party, thus positioning him for power.

He said he "risked an outcome he didn't believe in because it would help his political career".

Cameron also accused Johnson and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove, now a top minister, of "becoming ambassadors for the expert-trashing, truth-twisting age of populism".

He condemned claims they made about the savings Britain would make by ending its EU membership, and of the likelihood of Turkey joining the bloc.

"Leave was lying," he wrote.


US to host 2020 G7 summit at a Trump golf resort
Trump speaks over phone with Turkey''s Erdogan over cease-fire in Syria
Twin blasts in Afghanistan''s mosque kill 62
At least 35 people killed in bus accident in western Saudi Arabia
UK, EU hail new Brexit deal, but Parliament sign-off hangs in balance
Nearly 100 people injured in Catalonia unrest on Wednesday: Medics
US House passes Hong Kong 'Democracy Act'
India halved its poverty rate since 1990s: World Bank
Russia's Putin arrives in UAE on first visit since 2007
Syria offensive to continue until 'objectives achieved': Erdogan
Japan looks for missing as typhoon kills as many as 56
Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds
Kurds ''may be releasing'' IS prisoners in Syria to get US involved: Trump
Multiple arrests in Hong Kong as "flashmob" protests hit pro-Bejing targets
Typhoon leaves as many as 33 dead as Japan continues rescue
Heavy rain, winds lash Tokyo as powerful typhoon hits Japan
At least four dead in NYC shooting: police
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel peace prize
Iran tanker hit by suspected missile strikes off Saudi coast
First man to conduct spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, dies
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My craft is a huge area of anxiety for me: Swara Bhasker
 Mumbai: Several acclaimed films and a decade later, Swara Bhasker still finds herself panicking befo  
Ordinary doesn't satisfy me, says Bhumi Pednekar
Shah Rukh Khan keen on making a 'hit kind' of film
Navya Nair Surprised with Her Son's Birthday Gift: Watch Video
KERALA NEWS
Netherlands'' King Willem-Alexander , Queen Maxima, gets warm welcome in Alappuzha
 Alappuzha: Netherlands'' King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, who are on a two-day visit to Keral
Scribe's death:Kerala IAS officer's suspension extended
Kerala's CPI to discuss Vedas and Marxism in seminar
Kerala Assembly session from Oct 28
NATIONAL NEWS
PM Modi has no understanding of economy: Rahul
 Mahendragarh: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has n
US dream shattered, 311 Indians land in Delhi after deportation from Mexico
Mentally-unstable man jumps inside lion enclosure in Delhi zoo, escapes unhurt
Senior Odisha BJP leader Damodar Rout quits party
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