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Now you can read the pro-EU article Boris Johnson wrote days before backing Brexit


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Let’s face it, politicians don’t exactly have the best of reputations. They’re notorious for being somewhat fickle in their opinions, and Boris Johnson has proved to be just so.

It turns out that he penned a pro-EU article just two days before shocking David Cameron and publicly backing Brexit. Now we can read exactly what he wrote.

Johnson said Britain remaining in the European Union would be a “boon for the world and for Europe” in an unpublished newspaper column, which is revealed in the book All Out War by Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times political editor.

Boris Johnson
(Lisa Engelhart FCO/PA)

He writes: “Think of Britain. Think of the rest of the EU. Think of the future. Think of the desire of your children and your grandchildren to live and work in other European countries; to sell things there, to make friends and perhaps to find partners there.”

It certainly makes for an odd read in light of what has happened.

He argues that remaining would be good for British businesses: “This is a market on our doorstep, ready for further exploitation by British firms: the membership fee seems rather small for all that access.”

He also warned that Brexit would cause an “economic shock” and could lead to the “break up” of the UK.

Boris Johnson
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

It seems entirely at odds with the Johnson we saw strongly campaigning for Britain to leave the EU.

Sources close to Johnson said he wrote the article for the sole purpose of trying to articulate in his mind whether there was any merit in the Remain argument and dismissed it out of hand as soon as he finished.

Since the vote to leave the EU the pound has fallen to historic lows, losing around 18% of its value against the US dollar, while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has put in place plans for a second independence referendum if the UK leaves the single market.

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