John­son wants Brexit clar­ity

Lesotho Times - - International - — Reuters

LON­DON — Ex-lon­don mayor Boris John­son (pic­tured), who shocked Bri­tain last week when he de­cided not to stand to re­place out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, crit­i­cised the govern­ment on Mon­day for not hav­ing a pos­i­tive plan to make a Bri­tish exit from the EU work. John­son, who led the cam­paign to take Bri­tain out of the Euro­pean Union, said “hysteria” had gripped those who had sup­ported stay­ing in the bloc, and the govern­ment needed to ex­plain the truth about the im­pact of Brexit.

“There is, among a sec­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, a kind of hysteria, a con­ta­gious mourn­ing of the kind that I re­mem­ber in 1997 af­ter the death of (Diana) the Princess of Wales,” John­son wrote in the Daily Tele­graph news­pa­per.

“It was wrong of the Govern­ment to of­fer the pub­lic a bi­nary choice on the EU with­out be­ing will­ing — in the event that peo­ple voted Leave — to ex­plain how this can be made to work in the in­ter­ests of the UK and Europe. We can­not wait un­til mid-septem­ber, and a new PM.”

The flam­boy­ant and pop­u­lar John­son, one of the most prom­i­nent Brexit cam­paign­ers, had been ex­pected to join the con­test to be the new Con­ser­va­tive leader af­ter Cameron an­nounced he would quit fol­low­ing the ref­er­en­dum vote to leave the EU. How­ever, he pulled out when his ally, Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Michael Gove, de­cided to run for the job him­self, call­ing John­son’s abil­i­ties into ques­tion, which John­son’s sup­port­ers de­scribed as an act of Machi­avel­lian treach­ery.

A new leader is ex­pected to be in place by early Septem­ber. John­son said fears about the im­pact of leav­ing the EU had been wildly over­done, say­ing the stock mar­ket had not col­lapsed and the emer­gency bud­get with spend­ing cuts and tax rises had not ma­te­ri­alised as fi­nance min­is­ter and Re­main sup­porter Ge­orge Os­borne had warned. Con­ser­va­tive law­maker Ben Wal­lace, who was run­ning John­son’s cam­paign, said he thought Gove him­self was un­fit to be the leader him­self, call­ing him a gos­sip.

“Michael seems to have an emo­tional need to gos­sip, par­tic­u­larly when drink is taken, as it all too of­ten seemed to be,” Wal­lace wrote in the Tele­graph.

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