News & Politics

London Mayor Boris Johnson Causes Shockwaves in Britain: Supports a 'Brexit'

London Mayor Boris Johnson Causes Shockwaves in Britain: Supports a 'Brexit'
(AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Prominent Tory, member of Parliament, and mayor of London Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he would back the “Vote Leave” campaign, the movement trying to convince British voters to vote against continued EU-membership in a referendum scheduled for June 23.

Prime Minister David Cameron — a Tory himself — has negotiated a new deal with European Union which, in his opinion, gives London some of its power back from Brussels. The PM hopes that this deal will be enough to convince his fellow countrymen to vote for Britain’s EU membership rather than against it. Sadly for the PM and his fellow EU lovers, however, the deal has so far failed to impress anyone else, least of all Johnson, who’s Cameron’s possible successor as leader of Britain’s Conservatives.

Yesterday, the populist Tory came out against the EU deal and succinctly explained why he’s joining Vote Leave:

In his own words:

To save the money and to take back control.

It’s a simple argument, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Britain spent £41 billion (more than $57 billion) on contributions to the EU budget and single-market regulations in 2014 alone. At the same time, the European Commission (which is the daily leadership of the EU, comparable to America’s cabinet) estimates “the benefits of the single market are equivalent to £37 billion” (or $52 billion). In other words, quitting the EU will save Britain at least £4 billion (or $5.6 billion) per year. No wonder then that, increasingly, other important British politicians are joining the Vote Leave camp.

Before Johnson, Britain’s Secretary of Justice Michael Gove did the same. That was a major coup for the Vote Leave campaign because he gave the Brexit movement intellectual heft. Until yesterday, however, they were still lacking a prominent leader with popular appeal. They’ve now found that leader:

Norman Tebbitt writes for British newspaper the Daily Telegraph:

As for Boris Johnson, he can never resist teasing his audiences and he has done that supremely well. Boris is far from without weaknesses but he will be a formidable addition to the Brexit Army…

As I did my weekly shopping yesterday in Waitrose I was encouraged at the number of people who told me that they would vote to win back our independence. And that before the Brexit Army, led by Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers, Lord Lawson, Labour’s Kate Hooey and the Ukip irregulars under Neil Farage have really opened fire.

This is an important development for the Vote Leave campaign (and for all its supporters). Here’s to hoping that the movement will grow in size and influence in the coming weeks, so that Britain will be the first country to be liberated from the EU’s yoke.