LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday some British lawmakers hoping to block Brexit were engaged in “terrible” collaboration with the European Union by undermining London’s negotiating hand and so making no deal more likely.
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks next to Britain’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner Cressida Dick and Youth Justice Board Adviser Roy Sefa-Attakora during a roundtable on the criminal justice system at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain August 12, 2019. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS
Hours after senior lawmakers said they would seek to prevent any attempt to ignore parliament over Brexit, Johnson used a question-and-answer session on Facebook to attack them.
“There is a terrible kind of collaboration as it were going on between those who think they can block Brexit in parliament and our European friends,” Johnson, who has been hailed by the U.S. president as “Britain’s Trump”, said on Facebook.
“We need our European friends to compromise and the more they think that there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s use of the word “collaborator” has historical echoes for Britons given the use of that epithet for people who cooperated with Nazi Germany during World War Two.
“Shameful language of fascism and authoritarianism from liar Johnson + unelected advisors – plain and simple. European neighbours are our friends not ‘enemy’ to ‘collaborate’ with,” Labour lawmaker Stephen Doughty said on Twitter.
Johnson’s comments followed remarks by former finance minister Philip Hammond that parliament will block a no-deal Brexit if unelected people behind Johnson try to wrench Britain out on Oct. 31 without agreement.
The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has vowed to leave the bloc in 78 days time without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate a Brexit divorce.