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Activists mock Tories as Brexit deadline expires

Darko Janjevic
October 31, 2019

The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31 with "no ifs or buts," according to Boris Johnson. With the deadline expiring, anti-Brexit activists mocked the leader for failing to deliver on his strongly worded pledges.

Boris Johnson at a EU summit in Belgium
Image: Getty Images/AFP/K. Tribouillard

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson rose to power by repeatedly pledging to "get Brexit done" by October 31 "do or die, come what may" and last month famously said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than ask for a Brexit extension.

"I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so," Johnson said in Parliament less than two weeks ago.

Last week, however, Johnson was forced to break his central promise and ask Brussels for another delay after lawmakers rejected his bid to fast track the latest divorce deal. Johnson was forced by law to seek an extension after parliament made it legally binding for him to so so if no deal were agreed by October 19.

Read more: EU grants Brexit extension — so what now?

Activists replay Johnsons' pledges

With the deadline set to expire on Thursday, UK protest group Led By Donkeys staged an unusual protest in front of the headquarters of the Tory Party in Westminster.

The activists showed Johnson's statements on leaving the EU with "no ifs or buts" by the end of October, even without a deal. The recordings of Johnson were interspersed with an account given by Tory lawmaker Mark Francois, where Francois claims Johnson said that "the Tory party is finished" if the UK stays in the EU past October 31.

Separately, social media users mocked Francois over his prediction that the UK would "explode" if the deadline is not met. While several hundreds of pro-Brexit protesters rallied to show their displeasure in London, no major disruptions were reported.

Others, including the satirical Private Eye Magazine, made light of Johnson's "dead in a ditch" pledge.

The UK narrowly voted to leave in June 2016. On Thursday, Twitter users marked October 31 as the third "No Brexit Day" after two other set Brexit dates have come and gone in March and April this year. The EU's latest extension is set to expire on January 31.

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