Boris Johnson condemned after falsely saying he did not make anti-Turkish claims in Brexit campaign - Politics live

Photo of Boris Johnson condemned after falsely saying he did not make anti-Turkish claims in Brexit campaign - Politics live
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Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech

During the 2016 referendum campaign Vote Leave, which was jointly headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, claimed that if the UK remained in the EU, and the Turkey succeeded in joining, then around 80m Turks could end up being able to move to Britain.

At one point in the campaign Johnson and Gove wrote a joint letter to David Cameron about this. They said:

Others assert that the UK has ‘a veto’ on Turkish accession. This claim is obviously artificial given the government’s commitment to Turkish accession at the earliest possible opportunity.

If the government cannot give this guarantee, the public will draw the reasonable conclusion that the only way to avoid having common borders with Turkey is to Vote Leave and take back control on 23 June.

Actually, I didn’t say anything about Turkey in the referendum. I think anybody who has followed my utterances during the last 20 years will know that I’ve always been in the camp of those who defend ...

Since I made no remarks, I can’t disown them.

I didn’t make any remarks about Turkey, mate.

You do me an honour. I was happy to support leave, and I do and I did.

Boris puts the moron in oxymoron. He’s now trying to act the great liberal by championing migration, after shamelessly pushing anti-Turkish messages as a leader of the Vote Leave campaign.

But the government must love it when he gets up and gives these speeches. He’s a helpful clown, distracting from the government’s failures by pushing a no deal that Parliament won’t let happen.

In the Q&A Boris Johnson was asked about a story in today’s Times (paywall) saying the the DUP “would be open to a soft Brexit that kept the whole of the UK in a customs union with Brussels”. Johnson said he had seen the story, but that he did not know what the DUP were actually saying on this and that he had concerns about the idea of the UK staying in the customs union.

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has just put out a statement saying the Times report is not true. She said:

The report published in the Times this morning about the DUP is inaccurate and no doubt designed to undermine efforts to get the necessary changes to the withdrawal agreement.

The prime minister is very clear on our position. We have been consistent that for us it is the backstop which needs to be dealt with.

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