Boris Johnson accuses Remain campaign of playing politics with immigration

The favourite to succeed David Cameron was jeered as he left his London home 

Charlie Cooper
Whitehall Correspondent
Friday 24 June 2016 14:14
Comments
Brexit: Boris thanks Cameron

Brexit will “take the wind out of the sails of those who play politics with immigration” Boris Johnson has claimed, as he called Britain’s vote to leave “a glorious opportunity” for the country.

In his first statement since the result was confirmed in the early hours of this morning, and since David Cameron announced his resignation, Vote Leave figurehead Mr Johnson made a direct appeal to young voters, who overwhelmingly backed Remain, to reassure them that Brexit did not mean “putting up the drawbridge” or “isolationism”.

“We cannot turn our backs on Europe, we are part of Europe,” he said. “Our children and our grandchildren will continue to have a wonderful future as Europeans, travelling to the continent, understanding the languages and cultures that make up our common European civilisation.”

Following criticism of the Vote Leave campaign, which was accused of inflaming divisions by exploiting public anxiety about immigration, he said Britain would now be able to have a “fair and balanced” immigration system.

“I believe we now have a glorious opportunity. We can pass our laws and set our taxes entirely according to the needs of the UK economy,” he said. “We can control our own borders in a way that is not discriminatory but fair and balanced and take the wind out of the sails of the extremists and those who would play politics with immigration.”

Earlier, Mr Johnson was greeted by boos – and a handful of cheers – as he left his London home.

Johnson is one of the primary candidates to become prime minister after being the most prominent figure in the campaign to have the U.K. leave the single market

Dozens waited outside his north London home in anticipation that Johnson would speak. But he instead got into a cab to drive to Vote Leave headquarters.

As Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that a second referendum on Scottish independence was “on the table”, Mr Johnson denied that Brexit should mean a “less united” country.

“I want to reassure everybody that, in my view, as a result of this Britain will continue to be a great European power, leading discussions on defence and intelligence sharing and all the work that currently goes on to make our world safer,” he added.

“But there is simply no need in the 21st century to be part of a federal system of government, based in Brussels that is imitated nowhere else on Earth. It was a noble idea for its time, it is no longer right for this country.”

The former mayor of London, who is favourite to succeed David Cameron as Conservative leader and Prime Minister, paid tribute to his former Eton schoolmate, calling him a “brave and principled man” and “one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in