Coffee House

Boris Johnson: I will be advocating Vote Leave… or whatever the team is called

21 February 2016

5:09 PM

21 February 2016

5:09 PM

This is not about whether you love Europe or not. Actually, I love Brussels, I used to live in Brussels – fantastic city, wonderful place – and I love European culture and civilisation.

I consider it to be the greatest civilisation this planet has ever produced, and we are all products or most of us here are products of that civilisation and it is a fantastic thing but there should be no confusion between the wonders of Europe and holidays in Europe and fantastic food and friendships and whatever else you get from Europe – with a political project that has basically been going on now for decades which Britain has been a member of since 1975 and I now think is in real danger of getting out of proper democratic control. That is my view, and it’s a view I’ve held for a long time – I’ve written a huge number of articles about it.

And when people talk about sovereignty, this is not something that is possessed by politicians. Sovereignty is people’s ability, the ability of the public to control their lives, and to make sure that the people they elect are able to pass the laws that matter to them. And the trouble is, with Europe, that that is being very greatly eroded. You are seeing it more and more over employment, over border controls, over human rights, over all sorts of stuff. And you’ve got a supreme judicial body in the European court of justice that projects down on this entire 500 million-people territory, a single unified judicial order from which there is absolutely no recourse and no comebacks. In my view, that has been getting out of control. There’s too much judicial activism, too much legislation coming from the EU.

And so I look at what the Prime Minister achieved the other day, and I have to say I think given the time he had, he did fantastically well.  I think everybody should pay tribute to David Cameron for what he pulled off in a very short space of time, but I don’t think anybody could realistically claim that this is fundamental reform of the EU or of Britain’s relationships with the EU.

It’s my view that, after 30 years of writing about this, we have a chance actually to do something, I have a chance actually to do something and I would like to see a new relationship based more on trade, on co-operation but as I say with much less of this supra-national element, so that’s where I am coming from. That’s why I have decided, after a huge amount of heartache because I did not want to do anything, I wanted – the last thing I wanted was to go against David Cameron or the government, but after a great deal of heartache I don’t think there is anything else I can do, I will be advocating Vote Leave, or whatever the team is called – I understand there are many of them – I think that is basically, because I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money, and to take back control. That’s really I think what this is all about.

What I won’t do – I’ll just stress – what I won’t do is take part in loads of blooming TV debates against other members of my party. I heard, or I was told about what the Prime Minister had to say this morning about not sharing platforms with George Galloway and other individuals – I won’t do that either. If I’m asked my views – and you’ve been kind enough to come in considerable numbers to ask my views – I will give my views. Because that is what they are.

This is a transcript of his remarks to reporters gathered outside his house earlier this afternoon. His Daily Telegraph column tomorrow is expected to elaborate on this theme.

SPECTATOR EVENT: EU REFERENDUM – THE BATTLE AHEAD

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 01.33.23

Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman will be discussing the EU Referendum campaign campaign with pollster Ben Page from Ipsos Mori on Monday 21 March. Tickets, for subscribers only, are on sale now. To subscribe from £1 a week, click here.


Show comments
  • airstavros

    He seems to be sincere. I shall vote out, not because of Boris, but because we are are a unique country and we have achieved much on our own. I’m looking forward to Independence Day.

  • eusebio manuel

    UK European need ecomically I Agree European Union in the States United

  • Michael B

    It’s highly amusing that the arguments for UK leaving the EU are recycled from the referendum on Scotland leaving the UK. Even more amusing is that some of the worst bitter together trolls are whining about how “undemocratic” the EU is… the stench of the “out” campaign’s hypocrisy would be overwhelming if it wasn’t so funny.

  • Michael North

    If, as I hope is the case, Britain votes to leave the EU, it will enhance Johnson’s career.
    There’s a downside to everything.

  • Eric Mcoo

    De Gaulle saw in British membership the Trojan Horse of American imperialism in Europe. Still true today.

    “After Algeria won its independence from France in the early 1960s, de Gaulle was fond of saying that he had not granted freedom to one country only to sit by and watch France lose its independence to the Americans.

    Macmillan, in old age, spoke ruefully of France’s almost psychotic relationship with its Anglo-Saxon allies.

    France, he said, had made peace with Germany, had forgiven Germany for the brutality of invasion and the humiliation of four years of occupation, but it could never – never – forgive the British and Americans for the liberation.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7942086.stm

  • trobrianders

    Brexit is pointless unless we rediscover the art of legislation which is currently the preserve of hacks and lobbyists.

  • Fritz123

    Yes, sovereignty is freedom, but the UK is weak. Brexit is the most lazy solution. If this is what you want, good luck!! That superstate is not more than a vision. It does not need much power for any member to say No!! to it. Nothing in the EU does happen against the will of the UK.

  • KesselRunRobert

    Boris sets out his stall for the top job. Why hasn’t he resigned the Mayorship yet? I’m sure he was supposed to have…not that anyone here in London would notice.

  • david freedom

    Borris has been sensible- he has remained quiet until the cards are on the table and then spoken. David Cameron has perhaps done what he could – how could he have done better if all of Europes elite are against him? This has to run its course now.

    I work in Sales and travel from the UK to Europe 4 times a month. It does not matter where in Europe you visit -Belgium, Italy, France, Spain or even Germany – the people of Europe like the better together/cooperation idea – but hate and despise the EU. How can that be?

    If we exit Europe we are not out of Europe – its just the start of our campaign to change Europe for the better and restore the path to democracy.

    I am in Milan. Today there were 4,000 people protesting against the Eu in the centre of Milan close to the Duomo. Its not reported in the media. All the waiters at the cafe near my hotel are asking about the UK referendum – they hate the EU with such passion. it really shocked me because this feeling is not reported in the uK media. its clear that the Eu is not listening to the people it represents.

    I am voting out. This is just the start. The people of Europe are looking for leadership and once we are out we can start the process of building a Europe the people want!

    I am not deserting Europe because I see Europeans as our friends,allies and family now. We must bring an end to the incompetent bureaucrats in Brussels and unite Europe behind democracy but at the same time allowing the countries with Europe space to Breathe.

    It will start with Brexit.

    I love Europe – I hate the EU. Vote for freedom, vote for Brexit and vote for a better Europe!!

    • trobrianders

      The media stranglehold on opinion in Britain is the hardest thing to overcome. Perhaps social media will help Britons to think more freely, I dunno. But I too am voting Leave but mainly because I hate EU socialism.

    • airstavros

      Well said.

  • Lina R

    Good on Boris and shame Theresa May and so many other Tories are not supporting out. This is about Britain governing itself – how can so many politicians give away that power to unelected (by us) bureaucrats in the super-state, unaccountable European Union?

    • big

      Grow up!

  • spencer234

    Well done Boris! You’ll get stick from the EU chumps but the country is behind you!

    Help lead us out and you’ll be the next PM.

  • Conway

    You’re two years out, Boris. We’ve been in since 1973. 1975 was the last time we had a chance to vote on membership. We were lied to and conned. I have a feeling that history is about to repeat itself. Let’s hope that, with the Internet and social media, we shall be better informed to see through the smoke and not be dazzled by the mirrors this time.

  • Mary Ann

    I cannot believe that he has only just made up his mind whether we should leave or not, he has just made up his mind on which way will best further his career. So insincere.

    • The Patriarchy

      More, or less sincere than corbyn and McDonnell who have both hated the EU throughout their careers, now pretending to care for it? More or less sincere than cameron who promised to seek reform, but was too shy to ask? More or less sincere than Teresa May and the rest of the payroll?

      At least Dame Emma Cake is sincere. She’s just trying to puff another not very good film.

  • Sandra Barwick

    Joined in 73, Boris, 73… I know it’s hard without a sub.

  • The Reincarnated Sausage

    Johnson is a machiavellian conman.

    He is a committed Europhile who has previously campaigned for Turkey to be granted full EU membership. So why have Johnson, Gove and other Tories had this sudden damascene conversion?

    As Lenin once said:

    The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves

    This is politics folks. We are ruled by duplicitous, double dealing liars and hypocrites. They deserve nothing more than absolute contempt.

    Just like Carswell being positioned in UKIP to sideline Farage isn’t it? and that other concern troll, Daniel Hannan bleating about how much he dislikes the EU whilst simultaneously voting for policies that strengthen the EU’s control over the UK.

    Anyone who believes Johnson is going to campaign for Brexit in the better interests of the British people is seriously deluded. At the very best, these tories might fight for more independence from the EU for their mates in the Square Mile, the big investment banks in the city for example. They don’t give a damn about us.

    The British people will never be allowed to leave the EU………. NEVER

    • big

      I couldn’t agree more! it’s simply baffling why people are so easily conned.but they are,how sad.

  • teigitur

    Very pleased to hear this. A Conservative with a spine.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Waffle. Boris will give an opinion when asked but won’t put his neck on the line for it when needed, trying to have it both ways as much as possible.

    • Tom Cullem

      Boris doesn’t have to stick his neck out here. He wins either way the vote goes. Cameron loses everything if it goes against him, Boris risks little. Once the referendum is over, the crises heating up in the EU will become more evident. The IN voters who realise they’ve been had and the OUT voters screaming, “I told you so!” will all benefit Boris. It’s a shrewd move. The bookies are now placing shorter odds on Boris taking over as leader of the Tories than Ozzie.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Agreed. A cynic would say he’s doing it only because he agrees with Forsyth that the next Tory leader will be from the Out side, not out of any real conviction. Despite his claims to the contrary. It’s almost worth going through his old articles on the subject, just to check his story. I’ve seen him flip-flop on more than one issue, claiming consistency all the while.

  • Tom Sykes

    Deafening since from Labour

    • Tom Cullem

      Assume you meant deafening “silence” from Labour. It’s not silence so much as the sound of politicians trying to figure out whether it might be worth throwing over the side for awhile their obsession with “internationalism” for an opportunity to take down Cameron and retrieve a number of the white working-class they’ve been haemorrhaging to UKIP at the same time by backing BREXIT.

      • Tom Sykes

        YEP ..As in the since of the lambs….

    • trobrianders

      Socialists worship high concentrations of power like the EU has amassed. They fantasize about taking control come the revolution. They are wh0res to it.

  • https://thetonicperch.wordpress.com George Sandhu

    It’s excellent. Javid who has in the past shared his deep concerns with EU regulation, yet seeks to secure his career. Priti, who represents the citizens of work, shall face-off with him. Thus round 1 goes to the ‘In’ side. Javid represents big business, yet has no spine to speak of, and Priti who does and will fight for working people.
    Gove who speaks the truth about law making and the ability to be held to ransom by the EU, and Theresa May who couldn’t even deport known terrorists out of our country. Round 2 also sealed for the ‘In’ campaign.
    Farage and Boris shall both be the heavyweights, whilst the only substantial figurehead on the opposite side was Cameron. Who has been publicly demoted from a heavyweight to a middleweight. His laughable negotiation demands, his incoherent and farcical scaremongering and now his begging for Boris (whom he has shunned and made to feel the wrath of his stick) to be at his side.

    It’s looking good chaps, rather splendid.

  • Sean Raymond

    Oh boy do we now have a (fairer) fight on our hands. Game on indeed….

    • Tom Cullem

      Popcorn and pints all around.

  • JewishKuffar

    Good news but a note of caution -isn’t this the man who was only recently campaigning for Turkey and it’s 75m muslims to join? I suspect he is more of the ‘we need a second referendum to secure proper reforms’ kind of man rather than a pure Outer.

    I just hope he is sincere and not a Remain plant (a la Carswell in UKIP).

    • Tom Cullem

      No worries there – Merkel is getting ready to sell the EU to Turkey in a desperate bid to stop the flow of migrants into Europe, and two of the items on Erdogan’s list of demands in return for his “cooperation” is a fast tracked membership application to the EU, and no visa restrictions on Turks who want to go to Europe to work. In addition, of course, to a cadre of “willing’ EU nations who will agree to share out 250,000 or so migrants from Turkey’s camps every year for the foreseeable future . . . I wonder if, after an IN vote is secured, the UK will suddenly graciously agree to become one of those nations?

      Boris is well off that hook. Merkel can manage that all on her own.

    • EasyStreet

      “Yes, Minister” has a very good explanation of why Eurosceptics are usually in favour of EU expansion:

      https://vimeo.com/85914510?ref=fb-share&1

      Turkish membership would only be feasible if the EU was purely a trading bloc. The cultural, demographic and economic differences are too big for it to be a part of the federal utopia. Accordingly, Eurosceptics like to promote EU expansion either as a spoiler to “ever-closer union”, or to unmask the federalist intent of the elite as they struggle around for reasons not to let Turkey in (admittedly not too difficult since Erdogan embarked down the Islamist path).

      • Tom Cullem

        You must have missed Merkel’s six meetings with Turkey since November begging for its help to stem the migrant crisis and promising a fast track to EU membership in return.

        That was then, this is now: with Schengen hanging in the balance, I assure you Merkel and Juncker will not think twice about getting Turkey in if it pulls their political chestnuts out of the migrant fire . . . and given what the migrant crisis bodes for European “culture” down the road, it’s a bit late to be suggesting that Turkey can’t get in for same reason . . .

        Turkey is now Merkel’s last hope. And she doesn’t care tuppence if she sells us all to save her own career.

    • Mary Ann

      It certainly looks as if he is up to something.

  • john

    So the gang is coming together! Objective: knife Dave and grab the top jobs. This is Tory Establishment internecine strife at its best. There will be blood.

    • weejonnie✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      Well since Downing Street has already referred to Johnson as a ‘stab in the back’ I think they got in ahead of you,
      Such puerile statements demean the office of the Prime Minister – I hope he keeps it up.

      • john

        Not so!

        I called the Bozza/Gove assassination team as soon as Gove declared. Bozza has been waiting for this chance for years.

  • Curnonsky

    He is looking more and more like Gert Frobe in “Goldfinger”.

  • paulus

    Well, left with no choice there. You would have been totally finished if you didn’t stand and fight. There isn’t much hope of winning really, I think the only way of making a decent fist of i,t is produce outstanding rhetoric and not composed it, in twenty minutes on a bus journey home.

    They are a real collection of misfits as well and you must have plausible deniability about anything they say. The immigration issue could carry they day, but the problem is no trading relationship with the EU without it. The only off the shelf option is EFTA. It has to have a realistic chance or your just wasting your time.

    • Sean Raymond

      Oh how I disagree. No trading relationship with the EU? Au ‘contraire my good man. We are the EU’s biggest customer on the entire planet and they sell over £50 billion worth of goods MORE each year to us than we do to them – the trade deficit is on their side! Therefore they simply will not put up protectionist cross channel barriers to continue to trade with us when they are the principle beneficiaries! It makes no sense. Why would they hurt themselves?? They will beg for a bilateral trade deal – because they need us more than we need them. Simple economics – the seller NEVER chases away the customer. Good day my good man.

      • paulus

        That is an assumption not a fact.You are asking people to trust you on an assumption.

        • paulus

          This is a prime example that the very first thing to do is decimate your own side. They all think they are generals and their opinions count.

        • Sean Raymond

          You now demean yourself with a technical argument that is utterly puerile and only serves to show the weakness of your position – is that really your trump card?. Yes – obviously no-one on the out campaign can say what the EXACT terms of a new trade deal are – because the referendum hasn’t happened yet and thus, negotiations for said ‘new deal’ haven’t took place!! Yeah – you got us. But you know something – not only is this irrelevant because we can use our innate intelligence to see that French agriculture and German car manufacturers et al will absolutely demand a deal be made but also – the same barb can be lobbed at you. See, if we had been given a referendum even 15 years ago those who voted at that time would have been voting on an EU entirely different to its current incarnation – meaning that the EU is a shape shifting, progressively federalist, entity which itself is marching towards something the British people do not want!

          So make your pathetic technical Nostradamic argument all you want – but you still can’t make a case for why French farmers would allow their industry to be torpedoed or the German car industry would risk self-detonation by not signing a very quick bilateral deal with us can you? No – you dodge that one rather conveniently! That side step will be your undoing. And guess what – even if they did want to put up barriers – we can buy cheese, wine and cars from other people – or didn’t you know that?? Now – what do you? Or can you really not use your head let alone common sense??

          • paulus

            Your clearly a genius Shaun, your strategy for a fight is going to consist of hoping its not in some ones interest not to hit you back…Good thinking puppy it is a winner. now move on.

            • Sean Raymond

              Eh?

            • Sean Raymond

              I still await your response as to why the French & Germans would harm themselves by putting up trade barriers – you can’t answer it because they won’t. This inconvenient truth exposes your technical argument that ‘outers’ don’t know what a post Brexit trade deal would look like – for whilst the promise of tomorrow is given to no one, including ‘inners’ – we can safely say a deal, in both parties interests WILL be made. As you will see

        • Andrew Cole

          The deal will remain as is for 2 years or as along as the exit negotiation take. We can work on what deal it will be while they are deciding the terms of the exit deal. Nothing will change in terms of the trade deals while they are working out what the exit plan will be.

          As said above. German motor manufacturers will be pretty unhappy if they lose money because the EU has sour grapes. French vineyards and cheese producers will be just as unhappy.

          If trade stopped between us and the EU the EU would lose a lot more money than we would be losing.

          Even so. If we aren’t importing cars or cheese or wine from europe we will more than likely be buying British made cars, British produced cheese and former British colony wines.

          How do we lose? Please tell.

          • paulus

            This is not a straight forward buying and selling situation. These are sovereign powers with their own agendas. They operate a mercantilist system. They don’t want cheap wine, cheap goods, new innovative products. These are people who don’t have a Ricardian view of the World. Thats why they formed a restrictive customs Union. It was in the interests of the Germans to give the Greeks a bail out and debt write off they didn’t do it. There is more than one way to view rational self interest.Your putting blind faith in peoples better nature.

            • Andrew Cole

              They didn’t write off the Greek bailout because the German voters would have Merkel on toast. I think you misunderstand how much people power does influence political decisions and drives their agendas. German companies will want to sell to the UK. They will not want to be hindered even if the EU or German government wants to hinder us.

              German workers that want British products and want the jobs that make the exports to the UK will want job security. The German government will do exactly as Cameron has done.

              Make a big point about talking tough and then leave it as the status quo in terms of how it affects them.

              The only thing they cannot leave as status quo is whether Britiain is in or out as that is out of their hands. The trade deal between the UK and EU is in their hands and they will want it to remain intact.

              • paulus

                What a lovely scenario…The continentals have been bullied and leveraged to get the deal we have. There is only so much bullying they will take. And don’t find yourself in a situation where the boot is on the other foot. Without an automatic default position, your tying the boot on their foot. Thats how power works.

                • Andrew Cole

                  Bullied and leveraged. You are having a laugh. Who by Cameron? And what of the not starting negotiations until evenings? Was that Cameron making them wait too. All planned, all theatre and they all knew what was going to be the end result before they got there.

                  This was the powerful countries making the decisions, the less powerful countries being invited, the less powerful countries querying a few things before the powerful countries told them to sign.

                • paulus

                  If they actually knew what they were doing a goal would have been set inside a legal framework, the Labour parrty would have been shattered into pieces by now, the Nationalist would have been routed in May swept aside with a Haut en Bas. A straight forward choice between democratic Government leading to technological advancement and prosperity for US. A hundred different voices leading to a cats choir. A 120 days walk in the park is now a trudge.No focus no leadership, no strategy, no idea.Not to worry we are where we are.

                • Andrew Cole

                  Politics is as much about presentation as it is results. There is a lot of theatrics involved. A lot of people hung out to dry to take the heat off something else.

                  All sides knew what they would end up with months ago but when the public of each of these countries see things so differently those in power have to look like they have driven a hard bargain.

                  That is why Cameron is telling us how tough he has been, Hollande has been telling his people how tough he has been and why Merkel has been saying she doesn’t think she gave us too much.

                  They can’t all be right can they?

                • paulus

                  To be honest with you I didn’t bother to follow it, it was all immaterial. They laid out what they wanted, they got what they wanted, by the simplest rout.

                  Its not my preferred option, as I have an abiding affection of the Constitution of the U.K. But I only have one vote like everyone else. I’m not a politician Andrew, only a self-appointed tribune of the people, a Mahdi of the masses. But the people will hear the arguments and decide themselves. Have a nice day Andrew.

    • Tom Cullem

      As opposed to plausible deniability in believing that Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have your best interests at heart?!

      Best go to see “The Big Short” if you haven’t already. Those are the amoral brigands and robber barons pushing for IN – and they aren’t doing so because they care about Britain.

      • paulus

        Well to be honest with you Tom, I would be ruthlessly kicking GS and JP Morgan to death by this stage of the campaign and putting the issue beyond all doubt. But what I would always have is a legal framework that the British people can be confident in 1 day after the referendum. Rhetoric and fine words are good but fundamentals trump everything.

        It would be a lot easier to argue for exiting the political Union and automatically retaining the single market. Outs argument is constitutional topped with a sliver of economic ice-ning. That people can’t see or envisage. But they only have twelve weeks to go and no plan. Played right it will be 70-30 to remain. And believe me George Osbourne will play it right.

  • AdrianM

    Johnson is right, Churchill speaks from within him. Not of specifics, but of a British spirit.

    • john

      AdrianM: This is bizarre – are you entirely sane?

    • Mary Ann

      That’s not a compliment to Churchill.

    • Shorne

      Churchill wrote to his foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, on 21 October 1942:
      ‘Hard as it is to say now.. I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.’
      In his famous Zurich speech of 1946, Churchill said, ‘We must build a kind of United States of Europe.. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important.
      Always do your research.

  • eyeswideopen

    referendum has become a struggle for power in the tory party

    • Latimer Alder

      Nope. The referendum is about staying in or out of the EU.

      It is a simple binary question.

    • trobrianders

      Distraction argument

  • Malcolm Stevas

    On the one hand, I’m glad about BJ’s decision, since it will help the “Out” cause; on the other, he goes down in my estimation. I think his career ambitions, his self-interest, are fairly obvious here. And this piece is not terribly good: John Redwood articulates the case for “Out” more clearly and transparently – better. Even Michael Gove did it better.

    • Latimer Alder

      Gove and Redwoood wrote theirs down. What you see above is a transcript of verbal remarks.

      • Malcolm Stevas

        Ah? I might have done BJ an injustice, then.

        • Mary Ann

          He didn’t come across as being sincere.

    • Mary Ann

      Much as I want to stay in, I have far more respect for Gove and Redwood, I think they actually believe we are better off out. as for Boris I agree with you. Sold his soul for the premiership. It could even be a losing move for him if enough people see through it.

  • https://thetonicperch.wordpress.com George Sandhu

    Sovereignty has lost all meaning for Europhiles.

    • trobrianders

      Not too many Brits have a clue what it means.

      • Andrew Cole

        Doesn’t it mean the Queen is in charge of all things?

        • trobrianders

          I think it means Queenish as in that orb and sceptre is very sovereignty.

          • Andrew Cole

            Maybe she has some of those expensive coin type rings on her hands so her hands are sovereignty.

  • Polly Radical

    What’s cheap and thick and comes out of your toaster?

    David Cameron.

  • CortexUK

    “Why Vote Leave” by Daniel Hannan, to be published on 24 March 2016:

    http://headofzeus.com/books/why-vote-leave
    http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/business/why-vote-leave,daniel-hannan-9781784977108
    https://www.waterstones.com/book/why-vote-leave/daniel-hannan/9781784977108

    “52 Jokers” Eurosceptic playing cards, out now:

    http://www.52jokers.co.uk/

    “BREXIT: The Movie” Kickstarter fundraising page – 9 days left to raise 25,000 of Her Majesty’s British Pounds Sterling:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brexitthemovie/brexit-the-movie

    • Johnny Foreigner ✓VER.Angry

      What Daniel Hannan, the ‘I think we should consider a second referendum’, guy?

  • @PhilKean1

    .
    What I heard was a man who wanted to get better terms of MEMBERSHIP of the EU.

    And this he would presumably achieve by winning a Brexit vote, and then expecting Britain’s chief negotiator – (David Cameron, on his OWN) – to negotiate terms of membership so significantly better that it would allow him to support the calling of another referendum.

    I mean, we need this timid – frightened to offend mates – reluctant to leave the EU – don’t fight dirty – PASSENGER – like a hole in the head.

    And let us be clear : David Cameron has been responsible for negotiating a shockingly shameful, deceitful, irresponsible, unprincipled, so-called deal. So it is not only an insult to intelligent people to heap praise on Cameron for “doing his best in so short a time-scale” – but by refusing the opportunity to condemn Cameron, Boris has refused a golden opportunity to deliver a killer blow to the Federalists.

    I wanted a tiger on my side. I got a sheep in a wolf’s clothing.
    .

    • Pip

      Spot on.

    • Brian K

      Yep, another vote leave to be able to negotiate a second time merchant.

    • jim

      Yup!.As if the EU only recently went off the rails….as if there were any appetite at all for reform within the EU ..I see Boris as a fifth columnist. He is the banker’s friend. He wants Turkey in the EU……With friends like these…

      • Andrew Cole

        From what I have heard or read it was after a meeting with Michael Gove earlier this week that Boris decided to join the leave side. Michael Gove is proving to be the new Mandelson. The Kingmaker behind the scenes.

        It was a massive knife in the back when Gove went against Cameron and persuading Boris to join the leave side clearly shows that he has changed allegiances.

    • JewishKuffar

      Well said.

    • Tom Sykes

      Quite. Appalling way to negotiate. He should made the other side think that was indifferent as to staying or going but he made it clear that he was minded to stay in the EU from the start.

      You don’t get what you deserve – you get what you negotiate.

      • Conway

        Cameron has never had a proper job, so why do you expect him to have any negotiating skills?

        • Andrew Cole

          He couldn’t even negotiate a lower price for his wysteria to be trimmed. Then again how many politicians know the current price of wysteria trimming.

    • CockneyblokefromReading

      We should get this straight from those involved right from the start: There should be just ONE referendum…ONE. It doesn’t matter what the result is, no further referendums on membership of the EU. If people vote in, we stay in (and suffer the consequences!). If people vote out, then that’s it, out, for ever. No further referendums. I’m getting a bit worried that those traitors who want us in will accept the out vote, then use it to negotiate much better terms for Britain before calling another referendum!

      • Mary Ann

        And what’s wrong with that, don’t you want what is best for Britain? Although with Cameron pulling us even further back it stops any hope that we could actually ever take the lead in Europe. We need a pro EU leader with the guts of Maggie, even though I though she was a detestable woman, I admired her guts.

        • KesselRunRobert

          True, like it or not, the EU is an emerging superpower – as one of the key member states, we could take the opportunity to lead from the front and get actual reform (rather than just a bit of immigrant-bashing to appease the Tory right), but we’ll pander to the likes of Farage and end up moaning at the sidelines, like the gobby kid sent to the back of the school bus, stripped of audience and influence.

          • Adam Carter

            How has UK involvement so far led to actual reform?
            How many times has the UK position lost ut to the opposed position?
            It is, and always will be impossible for the UK to lead with 27 other nations of whom many have interests that are not the same as ours.

            • KesselRunRobert

              When have we ever actually tried? From my experience, most EU members would be quite happy for the jumped-up little island that thinks it’s a cut above because its former colony kept its language to get lost. About time we ate some humble pie and joined in.

          • The Laughing Cavalier

            We’ve been trying to lead from the front since 1973 without notable success.

            • KesselRunRobert

              No, we haven’t, we insist that we are the ‘special’ conduit to the US when it’s clear to all that this is only as long as it benefits the US…didn’t get involved in the Euro, whatever the merits of that (though it hasn’t hurt the northern economies any) it hardly puts us in the front.

      • Andrew Cole

        If the England vote for out but the Scots keep us in we should have another referendum as soon as they leave the UK which will inevitably happen eventually.

    • Nicholas_Keen

      To the contrary, he’s playing it just about right. He’s where the bulk of the population is: they can see both sides but have deep concerns about the direction. Why would he publicly condemn Cameron? That would just seem small minded, would alienate the people needed to win. People don’t like an ungenerous spirit.

    • Sandra Barwick

      The Telegraph piece is better, it reads as though it was partly written by his wife. Someone other than Boris, anyway.

    • Mary Ann

      Boris is more interested in his career than the EU, why else did he take so long, Boris is not indecisive.

  • ButcombeMan

    The cross party team of leavers is looking rather stronger in intellectual horsepower than the poor stayers

    Cameron has made a fool of himself.

    I listened to Blair’s deceit, I do not want to listen to Cameron’s. Massive misjudgement by him.

    I am going to put some money on Gove, Bogo, JRM and Patel, being key members of the next government,

  • Magnolia

    Thank you Boris.
    True blue tie.
    Fight for our sovereignty and the right to spend our own taxes!

  • MC

    Boris & Zac standing together: it will help to debunk the myths about Brexit being bad for London or the Finance sector. it won’t be long before BoGo is leading from the front, regardless of what was said today.

    • telemachus

      So why the flip flop

      The above article is filled with obfuscations

      *

      “That is my view, and it’s a view I’ve held for a long time”
      I just thought that I would see how the wind is blowing before declaring 36 hours late

      • polidorisghost

        “So why the flip flop”

        Good to see Boris take the side of honest people against the establishment and its army of luvvies, lackeys and pr merchants – Against people like you telemachus.

        And it illbehoves you to question the motives of other people, when you change
        your loyalty faster than a wh0re changes her knickers.

  • Butterfingers

    As Spectator regulars we always knew he had it in him.

    • telemachus

      Philandering
      Flip flopping
      Lightweight
      He will get his just deserts for this bizarre decision

      • Butterfingers

        I thought you supported EXIT?

        • telemachus

          I support my leader and the Country’s leader
          I am the ultimate patriot

          • https://thetonicperch.wordpress.com George Sandhu

            You’re a rent-a-troll, nothing more.

            • Wildflowers

              And a very poor and obvious one at that.

          • Tom Sykes

            The Nuremberg defence?

          • MikeBrighton

            But Corbyn and McDonnell have spent their entire careers being deeply Eurosceptic and opposing the EU (Corbyn since 1983) if you look at their voting records they have opposed the EU in every division.
            Until they became leaders of Labour lol and were bought by the Labour EU establishment.

          • Rhoda Klapp

            parrot, I think fits better.

          • KesselRunRobert

            You’re the ultimate something or other.

          • polidorisghost

            “I am the ultimate patriot”
            As in, Jawohl mein capitan

      • Mary Ann

        It isn’t bizarre, he hopes to be the next PM and thinks the best way he can achieve it is to back leave, he was waiting to see which way everyone else went.

        • Andrew Cole

          Boris doesn’t often make the wrong decision when advancing his career. Boris choosing leave should be worrying remain supporters.

  • Rupert

    Interesting that he doesn’t want to be the figurehead of the campaign.

    • ButcombeMan

      Only the media thinks there has to be one figurehead.

      The media always wants to discuss personalities, not issues.

      • Blindsideflanker

        It is not as if there is going to be a figure head for the Ins, for Benn said they wouldn’t be sharing a platform with Cameron, Nor Sturgeon, and I doubt very much that Cameron will share a platform with Gerry Adams.

      • Mary Ann

        Shame we could do with hard facts, so much rubbish printed by so many papers.

        • ButcombeMan

          We could. So for a start, stop your vacuous interjections.

    • Andrew Cole

      I think the leave side are going to leave it with no figurehead. Many people been interviewed and are saying they don’t need a figurehead.

      I think that’s a good thing. Each prominent figure can preach to those who they would go down well with rather than choosing one person who would please some and put off others.

      Cameron being the leader of the out campaign is bound to put some off. They have missed a trick by not telling him Nooo let us do our own tribes.

      • Rupert

        But Farage and Galloway love themselves too much to not try and be the figurehead. I’m guessing that they both mess it up badly. Also why would Galloway’s islamic supporters not want to be in an EU with soon to be islamic germany and islamic france??

        • Andrew Cole

          They would have already been pushing for it if they wanted to. Farage is not one to stay away from the limelight. He can see that his dream might come true and knows not to get in the way of it.

          He can take all the glory if we leave and make an absolute fortune for the rest of his life acting as the saviour of the UK (rightly or wrongly.)

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