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What is Boris Johnson's view on Brexit?

What is Boris Johnson's view on Brexit?
By Emma Beswick
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The main subject on everyone's lips in the UK is Brexit and that doesn't look set to change in the coming months — where does the man who could be the next prime minister stand on the issue?


After months of speculation, UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced she would be stepping down.

Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London, ex-foreign secretary and passionate Brexiteer, is a frontrunner to be the next Conservative leader after he was the first Tory candidate to throw his hat in the ring.

READ MORE: Who is favourite to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister?

The main subject on everyone's lips in the UK is Brexit and that doesn't look set to change in the coming months — where does the man who could be the next prime minister stand on the issue?

How has he campaigned?

After leaving the public and his fellow Conservatives guessing for days, Johnson came out in favour of the UK leaving the European Union back in 2016 — he said his radio silence was because his choice had been "agonisingly difficult".

At the time, Johnson said the decision came with a "great deal of heartache", and the last thing he wanted was to go against David Cameron or the government.

After this political jump, he became one of the most vocal Brexiteers, throwing his support behind the Leave campaign in the run-up to the referendum.

His infamous pledge to reclaim £350 million per week from the EU for the NHS, which was incidentally scrawled across the side of a Brexit campaign bus, may now even have landed him in hot water.

Having already had his knuckles rapped by the statistics watchdog over his use of the figure, lawyers have accused him of lying to voters and he could be summoned to court to face accusations ​of misconduct in public office.

Johnson's lawyer Adrian Darbishire said his client denies any wrongdoing.

How does he feel about May's deal?

Johnson said in March that he'd back the prime minister's deal reasoning it was needed to prevent Parliament from "stealing Brexit", although he added it filled him with "pain" to do so.

He made the announcement shortly after the premier said she'd step down if the deal went through.

Prior to this, he resigned from his position as foreign secretary in July 2018 saying May was leading the UK into a "semi-Brexit" with the "status of a colony". He was the second senior cabinet minister to quit within 24 hours.

Johnson objected to the "soft Brexit" May put forward after a July 6 Chequers summit, adding the Brexit "dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt."

"The government now has a song to sing," he wrote in his resignation letter. "The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat."

Is he an opportunist?

In an unpublished newspaper column in October 2016, Johnson said Britain’s continued membership of the EU would be a "boon for the world and for Europe", in which he also debated whether or not he would oppose Brexit.

He has since said that the column was a way for him of managing his own thoughts calling it "semi-parodic".

Nevertheless, his critics have interpreted Johnson's perceived lack of conviction on Brexit as a manifestation of him using the situation to further his own interests — possibly a way into Number 10.


He set a hardline stance just hours after May announced her resignation, telling a conference in Interlaken, Switzerland the UK would "leave the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal."

But he is notoriously unpredictable, political commentators and the people of Britain alike will be waiting with anticipation to see what line Johnson takes should he make it into the top job.

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