Friday 20 September 2019

Boris Johnson claims he can still get backstop scrapped - and brands Jeremy Corbyn a 'chlorinated chicken'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons today.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons today.
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London. Parliament TV via REUTERS
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed he will still get a Brexit deal that scraps the backstop and branded Labour's Jeremy Corbyn as a "chlorinated chicken".

Their first leaders' questions clash in the House of Commons came continuing chaos in Westminster where Labour and others are pushing to have the UK's departure from the EU delayed in the absence of a Brexit deal.

Mr Johnson claimed his rival was undermining negotiations with what he dubbed a "surrender bill" that would "wreck any chance" for talks with the EU.

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It came after Mr Corbyn challenged Mr Johnson on reports that his negotiating strategy was to "run down the clock" and his bid to remove the backstop to avoid a hard border in Ireland was a "fantasy".

He demanded that Mr Johnson provide details of his alternative proposals for the backstop.

Mr Johnson responded by claiming Mr Corbyn's approach is "What do we want? Dither and Delay. When you we want it? We don't know".

Mr Corbyn pointed out that Mr Johnson didn't answer his question.

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He said the British government have been claiming that progress is being made in talks, but added that EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar say no proposals have yet been made by the UK.

He again asked if Mr Johnson would publish the proposals he has put forward to replace the backstop.

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Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London. Parliament TV via REUTERS

Mr Johnson replied that "you don't negotiate in public".

"We are making substantial progress," he said and added "this government is going to get a deal with our friends in Brussels and we will get the backstop out".

"The only thing that is standing in our way is the undermining of the negotiations by this surrender bill," he said.

Mr Corbyn said: "I fail to see how I can be accused of undermining negotiations because no negotiations are taking place."

Mr Johnson said he doesn't want an election.

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But he added: "I know there's worry about free trade deals with America but there's only one chlorinated chicken that I can see in this house and he is on that bench."

He asked if Mr Corbyn will "let the people decide on what he is doing to this country's negotiating position by having a general election on October 15."

Mr Corbyn replied: "Well maybe the prime minister can tell us what the negotiating position actually is."

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