Former foreign secretary and possible Prime-Minister-in-waiting Boris Johnson has launched a blistering attack on the European Union and its merciless treatment of the Greek people, drawing a clear comparison with the punitive approach the bloc is taking to Brexit negotiations.
Noting the “example” the EU sought to set for others with Greece, which was subjected to a nine-year enforced bailout programme at the hands of Germany and the European Central Bank, Boris Johnson took to the Daily Telegraph to warn against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers plan for a ‘Soft Brexit’.
Insisting that Britain should “Chuck Chequers” — a now-common refrain among Brexiteers — the former two-time Mayor of London said the EU had acted selfishly to preserve “the balance sheets of EU banks” ahead of the welfare of ordinary people, and that it would do the same with Brexit.
In a direct attack on the European Union, the euro single currency, and Theresa May, Johnson declared:
…Greek suffering goes on, and the lesson is clear. As the former finance minister, Yannis Varoufakis, has explained, the tragedy of the Greeks was that they never had the nerve to tell their EU masters to get lost. They were never able to take back control, to run their economy in the interest of their electors.
That has a direct read-across for Britain. Under the Chequers proposals, we are about to make a historic mistake and turn this country into a rules-taker from Brussels, with no say on those rules – not just for industrial goods and agri-foods but across a wide range of economic activity. Look at the humiliation of Greece – an EU member – and ask yourself how the EU will legislate with the UK out of the room, and when we can no longer do anything to protect ourselves from the imposition of those rules. Will the EU act in our interests and the interests of UK jobs and growth, or the interests of the EU?
The answer is clear. It is written in graffiti all over Greece. Why, then, are we proposing to turn the UK, in important respects, into the perpetual punk of Brussels? Chuck Chequers.
Noting that Greece had been set up to be “a memento mori to anyone tempted to differ with the orthodoxy of Brussels”, Johnson made clear that Brexit was being set up to serve the same purpose for any other member-state which dared to consider leaving the bloc.
Although the ambitious Tory has long been popularly held as a likely future prime minister, Johnson’s star has been rising more clearly of late as Brexiteers have looked to him to rescue Brexit from Theresa May and her Remainer-dominated government.
Boris Johnson Resignation Statement: ‘It Is Not Too Late to Save Brexit’ https://t.co/I13G08Vx4N
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 18, 2018
Resigning from the Cabinet over the Prime Minister’s much-derided Chequers plan to take Britain out of the European Union “in name only”, many believe Johnson is seeking to set himself up as a pro-Brexit alternative Prime Minister.
His latest call to “Chuck Chequers” follows another in early August, when he said Theresa May’s plan would mean “vassalage, satrapy, colony status for the UK… For the first time in a thousand years our laws will be made overseas, enforced by a foreign court. It can’t and won’t work.”