This is the column Boris Johnson wants you to forget

A column penned by Boris Johnson in 2013 that advised fellow ministers to stop blaming Brussels for all our problems has resurfaced this week and is now doing the rounds on social media.

The former Foreign Secretary and prominent Brexiteer said that if Britain left the EU “we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by Brussels” in his usual Telegraph slot.

The article was published after Michael Gove and Philip Hammond became the first two Cabinet ministers openly to support leaving the EU. 

It came as Prime Minster David Cameron faced pressure to call a referendum if he is re-elected, with more than 100 Conservative MPs setting out their plans to support a Parliamentary amendment which effectively criticises the Queen’s Speech for failing to legislate for the referendum.

In his article published on 12 May 2013, Mr Johnson said that he would support the legislation, but warns that Britain’s problems will not be solved by simply leaving the EU as many of his Conservative colleagues apparently believe.

“If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate, and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by “Bwussels”, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and underinvestment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure,” the former London Mayor said.

“Why are we still, person for person, so much less productive than the Germans? That is now a question more than a century old, and the answer is nothing to do with the EU. In or out of the EU, we must have a clear vision of how we are going to be competitive in a global economy.”

3 Responses

  1. Birch Yellow

    “The article was published after Michael Gove and Philip Hammond became the first two Cabinet ministers openly to support leaving the EU. ”

    Philip Hammond supported the Remain campaign in 2016….did he travel in the opposite direction to Boris Johnson, or did the writer have someone else in mind?

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