EU referendum: Boris Johnson claims elites 'want to remain in Europe to keep hold of power'

The Mayor of London claims people are having the power to 'sack their governments' taken away

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 25 April 2016 18:25
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Boris Johnson has come under fire for some of his pro-Brexit comments over the past week - including says Barack Obama hates Britain because he is 'part-Kenyan'
Boris Johnson has come under fire for some of his pro-Brexit comments over the past week - including says Barack Obama hates Britain because he is 'part-Kenyan'

Boris Johnson has said the “elites of Europe” want Britain to remain in the EU so they can hang on to power.

The London Mayor and one of the Leave campaigns main figureheads said democracy was being eroded across Europe as millions of people “whose only power is their ability to sack their governments at elections” are having it taken away.

Brussels “has been in self-imposed lockdown” for a year, he claimed, because “nothing must be done to frighten the children”.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “The British referendum – that embarrassing and tedious genuflection to democracy – must be safely won; and then they will get their plans out of the drawer and get on with the business of building a federal superstate”.

He said if Britain chooses to remain in the union there will be “instant jubilation in Brussels, of course; champagne corks going off like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture.

“Among the vast clerisy of lobbyists and corporate affairs gurus – all the thousands of Davos men and women who have their jaws firmly clamped around the euro-teat – there will be relief.

“Things will go on as they are; indeed, things will go into overdrive.”

The London Mayor claimed the EU had removed democratically elected governments in Italy and Greece to “install Brussels-approved technocrats” which he said was “narcotic tyranny”.

He said: “Inch by inch, month by month, the sausage machine of EU law-making will extrude more laws – at a rate of 2,500 a year, or perhaps even faster, once the referendum is out of the way.

“More and more people will exercise their unfettered rights to come to this country, putting more pressure on our public services. And eventually – when we are unable to take it any more – the UK will utter a faint sheepish cough of protest.

“Please sir, we will say, raising our hand in the EU Council, we need reform. And eyebrows will shoot up in a Batemanesque way. REFORM? they will say, in the tones of Lady Bracknell. REFORM? But you just had reform…”

The outgoing Mayor of London has come under fire in the last week after claiming US President Barack Obama - who visited the UK to lobby for the Remain side - had an “ancestral dislike” of Britain and its former empire because he was “part-Kenyan”.

It comes after research by fact-checking organisation Full Fact said the conflicting claims made by both sides of the debate were “unsupported by evidence and at worse simply untrue”.

The report, seen by The Independent, said the claim by the Brexit side that “the unelected European Commission runs the EU” exaggerates the power of the Commission and understates the role of other institutions in passing EU laws.

It also ignores the power and influence of EU member states.

A Commission proposal can only become law when it has a majority in the Council (made up of member states) and a majority in the European parliament which is directly elected by EU citizens on a proportional basis.

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