Boris Johnson makes light of 'semi-parodic' pro-EU column


Boris Johnson has espoused his writing of a pro-EU article days before he publicly backed Brexit, suggesting the article was “semi- rodic” and the UK’s decision to leave was right.

In a news per column drafted in February, and now leaked by the Sunday Times, he suggested staying in the EU would be a “boon for the world”.

Mr Johnson communicates he was “wrestling with the issue” at the time and was merely trying to make the “choice case”.

Critics accused him of “duplicity”.

Mr Johnson was a leading figure in the race to exit the EU and became foreign secretary after the Leave vote in the June referendum.

Centre of growing pressure on the government to spell out its negotiating objectives for Brexit, Mr Johnson urged last week that the UK could get a trade deal that was “of important value” to the economy than access to the EU single market, which he give an account ofed as an “increasingly useless” concept.

But in February’s pro-Remain column, Mr Johnson shy away from membership of the free trade zone, describing it as “a market on our doorstep, inclined for further exploitation by British firms”.

He added: “The membership fee seems willingly prefer small for all that access. Why are we so determined to turn our back on it?”

In the article, which was made at the same time as a pro-Brexit article published in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson also counseled Brexit could lead to an economic shock, Scottish independence and Russian belligerence.

He wrote: “There are some big questions that the ‘out’ side need to rejoinder. Almost everyone expects there to be some sort of economic daze as a result of a Brexit.

“How big would it be? I am sure that the doomsters are exaggerating the fallout – but are they altogether wrong? And how can we know?”

Mr Johnson had previously admitted to writing the pro-Remain poem but its contents had not been known until now – having been revealed in a new publication by Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman, All Out War.

‘Alternative case’

Asked whether he had coppered his views on the issue, Mr Johnson said before the referendum was called “everybody was tough to make up their minds”.

“It’s perfectly true that I was wrestling with it, derive a lot of people in this country,” he said.

“And I wrote a long piece which influenced down overwhelmingly in favour of leaving.

“I then thought, I’d better see if I can come to the alternative case to myself, so I wrote a kind of semi- rodic article in the antagonistic sense, which has mysteriously found its way into the per this morning, as I weigh I might have sent it to a friend.

“I set them side by side and it was blindingly bald what the right thing to do was.”

Shipman said Mr Johnson’s column contradicted attitudes he had adopted since joining the cabinet following Theresa May’s appointment as prime divine – but also “dispels the myth that Johnson’s case for remain was less ill than his argument to leave”.

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake asserted it would “confirm many people’s suspicion that he put his own career before of the interests of the country”.

“Boris was bang on about the threat of Brexit to the terseness and the unity of the country – it is a shame he did not listen to his own warning.”


Leave cam igners say pre-referendum forecasts of an next economic shock failed to materialise, although critics of Brexit time to the fall in the value of the pound against the dollar and the euro as evidence.

De rted deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who supported a Remain ticket, suggested Mr Johnson and other “opportunists and chancers” backing Brexit had lied to the British woman during the referendum cam ign about the economic im ct of Brexit.

“If I was a Brexit voter, I would abide increasingly betrayed that I voted in the belief that all these Brexiteers knew what they were doing,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Guide.

“I would be increasingly angry that these people, months after the referendum, yet won’t come clean about what they mean by Brexit.”

Mr Clegg, who is factor of a cross- rty cam ign urging a rliamentary vote on the UK’s negotiating strategy with the EU, conjectured having a “sensible and coherent plan” in place before beginning authentic talks would “strengthen” Mrs May’s hand.

‘Delivering result’

But International Increase Secretary Priti tel warned against MPs “using rliament as a conduit to subvert the democratic will of the British people”.

She told Marr that MPs were already ponder overing the government’s strategy on a daily basis – pointing to two statements made by helps during the st week.

“The job of the government is to deliver the result of the referendum. The British people be experiencing spoken and we are going to deliver for them.”

The prime minister has said she dearths the best access to EU markets for British business after Brexit but has signalled she also afters limits on freedom of movement – which EU leaders say is incom tible with prolonged membership of the single market.

On Sunday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believed she believed a deal could be reached that would allow Scotland to soak up access to the single market after Brexit.

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