Boris: UK Must Leave EU on Oct 31st to ‘Prove Putin Wrong’ About Liberalism

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Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson has said Britain must leave the European Union on the new October 31st Brexit deadline to prove Russia’s Vladimir Putin wrong about liberalism.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the Russian leader had told the press that “The liberal idea has started eating itself,” and that the “those who propagate those ideas are separate from [the people]” who live under them.

He argued that the recent migrant influx encouraged by Germany’s Angela Merkel and other European liberals, in particular, amounted to an infringement of their citizens’ rights, saying: “People [want to] live in their own country, according to their own traditions, why should [this] happen to them?”

He also took potshots at the British government over the way it is replacing Theresa May as prime minister, sniping that the Russian system “is different from what you have in Great Britain. We are a democratic country.”

The strongman leader jeered that “In [the United Kingdom], one leader has left, and the second leader, who is for all intents and purposes the top figure in the state, is not elected by a direct vote of the people, but by the ruling party.”

Anglo-Russian relations remain at a nadir in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings.

Boris Johnson, the favourite to succeed Theresa May as prime minister following the aforementioned party elections to choose the new Tory leader, used his latest Telegraph column to argue that delivering Brexit by its new October 31st deadline was an important way of proving President Putin wrong about liberalism, describing the Russian’s take on it as “the most tremendous tripe”.

“Liberalism is alive. It is well. It is delivering prosperity on a scale unimaginable to previous generations,” Johnson said.

“That is because a society that is free and inclusive and open will – on the whole – be the best place to start a business. It will be the safest place to invest. It will be the best place to start a family. It will be the best place to live,” he insisted.

“And there could be no better example of the triumph of liberal values, of course, than Britain today.”

Johnson claimed that London’s values, in particular, “have come to define not just the metropolis, but the whole of the UK… the other great cities have come to emulate and even to surpass the spirit of the capital: youthful, diverse, energetic, tech-savvy, open-minded.”

Remaining in the European Union, he suggested, would be a betrayal of those values, as the EU “has begun seriously to undermine that fundamental characteristic of a liberal democracy: that the people should have the power, at elections, to remove those who make the laws. The EU system makes this impossible.”

Failure to deliver Brexit by October 31st — the third deadline for leaving the EU the people have been given — would “increase the risk that the EU demands another referendum before we have delivered the first” and “make a mockery of democracy”, Johnson argued.

“We will look like any other oligarchy or monarchy – and there are, alas, still many examples around the world – where votes are held and the people are nominally consulted, but no one takes any notice, because, as in Moscow, the same crew mysteriously stays in charge,” he concluded, offering a return swipe to the Russian leader.

“If we want to uphold liberal values, we must leave by October 31 – and we will.”

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