The Edition


Don't mention the word! But Boris insists no 'Brexit' ban

13 February 2020, MVT 19:51
Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative party leader Boris Johnson poses after hammering a "Get Brexit Done" sign into the garden of a supporter, with a sledgehammer as he campaigns with his team in Benfleet, east of London on December 11, 2019, the final day of campaigning for the general election. - Britain will go to the polls tomorrow to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. PHOTO: BEN STANSALL / POOL / AFP
13 February 2020, MVT 19:51

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday insisted that "Brexit" was not banned, despite not mentioning the word in a speech setting out Britain's negotiating position with Brussels for trade talks.

Britain on Friday became the first country to leave the EU after 47 years of membership, capping more than three years of division and debate following a landmark 2016 referendum.

But the word was noticeably absent from his speech at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, south London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the country's seafaring past and former glories.

"Brexit" was named word of the year by dictionary publisher Collins in 2016, as usage surged by more than 3,400 percent before, during and after the referendum nearly four years ago.

Collins described it as "arguably politics' most important contribution to the English language... since the Watergate scandal gave commentators and comedians the suffix '-gate'.

Johnson also campaigned on the slogan "Get Brexit Done" at the last election in December, where he won a sizeable majority enabling him to push his divorce deal with Brussels through parliament.

But asked why he had not used it during his speech -- apart from a fleeting mention of "the B-word", he told reporters: "It's not banned...

"It's like the glorious revolution that preceded and events chronicled behind us. It's gone... It's receding behind us in history and that's the approach we should take to it."

London, United Kingdom | AFP