Boris Johnson has likened Britain to The Incredible Hulk as it seeks to break free from the European Union.
The prime minister told The Mail On Sunday that the country would break out of its “manacles” like the fictional green-skinned superhero.
He said Britain would be like Dr Robert Bruce Banner, Hulk’s physically weak and withdrawn physicist alter ego who transformed into the Hulk when he became angry.
“Banner might be bound in manacles, but when provoked he would explode out of them,” Mr Johnson said.
“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 31 October and we will get it done.”
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he added.
Mr Johnson said there were “real signs of movement” among European countries about ditching the backstop, which has been a major obstacle to progress so far.
The backstop is a customs plan to avoid a “hard” border between Ireland and Northern Ireland if a free trade deal between the UK and EU is not reached.
Mr Johnson said that if negotiations broke down he would ignore the Commons vote ordering him to delay the UK’s departure.
No 10 strategists have said they have a secret plan which will allow them to ignore the order without breaking the law.
Most legal experts are sceptical about this, however.
Mr Johnson is due to meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg this week.
The PM seemed confident about the prospects of reaching a Brexit deal in time, telling the paper he thinks “we will get there” and that a “huge amount of progress is being made”.
He said: “I will be talking to Jean-Claude about how we’re going to do it. I’m very confident.
However, Downing Street has cautioned that Monday’s meetings will not be a “big breakthrough” moment in the government’s bid to strike a deal with Brussels.
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