Labour MEPs: Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy seems to be ‘give me what I want or I’ll shoot myself in the head’

Boris Johnson’s negotiating strategy seems to be ‘give me what I want or I’ll shoot myself in the head’, Labour MEPs warned as the European Parliament debated Brexit, a week on from the general election.

Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“As you take the Brexit procedure forward, please be aware – please remember – that 53 per cent voted in this election for parties that wanted another referendum on this.

“Every opinion poll over the last year except one has shown that a majority of the British public would vote to Remain if we had a new referendum.

“And, Mr Johnson, with his 43% of the vote – only one percentage point more than Mrs May achieved two years ago – takes that as a mandate to go forward for a very hard Brexit. And make no mistake, he’s going for a hard Brexit, because he has already gone back on a previous promise to say that the House of Commons would vote on extending the transition period to allow time for negotiations.

“He’s already saying we will not extend, we will make it illegal to extend. He doesn’t want to negotiate a proper partnership or trade deal. His strategy in negotiations seems to be ‘give me what I want or I’ll shoot myself in the head’ – it’s not going to work. It’s going to lead to a disastrous Brexit.

“And, finally, may I endorse what Guy Verhofstadt said: this parliament should not endorse any deal until the rights of citizens, both ways around, are secured.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Richard Corbett MEP’s speech from the debate can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJA2HkmX0lw