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London mayor says risks of Brexit 'wildly exaggerated'

209 Days ago

London, March 1 (IANS) London mayor Boris Johnson on Monday slammed Britain's pro-EU campaigners for fear mongering, saying the risks of a Brexit had been "wildly exaggerated", Xinhua reported.

Writing in a column for the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Johnson said the so-called Remain camp had made a series of "questionable assertions" about the possible threats to Britain if it were to leave the European Union (EU), and accused the movement of intending to evoke fear amongst the British public.

"In every case, the message is that Brexit is simply too scary and the reality is that these threats are so wildly exaggerated as to be nonsense," he said.

In the article, he rebuffed the argument that leaving the EU would jeopardise Britain's economy, police, judicial and intelligence cooperation.

"It is not Brexit that presents the economic risk, it is the euro and the federalising attempts to save it that are the real long-term threat to security and stability," he claimed.

Describing the euro as a "nightmare," Johnson said the single currency was "an economic doomsday machine that is still causing low growth, high unemployment and real misery in some European countries."

He also rejected the notion that the EU was the military guarantor of peace in Europe, citing the EU's inability to sort out security issues of former Yugoslavia and Ukraine.

"It is Nato and the Atlantic alliance that underpins our security... EU pretensions in the area are at best, confusing, and at worst, likely to encourage American disengagement," he asserted.

He also indicated that EU institutions were hampering Britain's security services.

"On the contrary, it is the European Court of Justice, with its vast new remit over the Charter of Fundamental Rights, that is making it harder month by month for the security services to get on with their job -- whether it be expelling murderers or monitoring terrorist suspects," he said.

In the article, he called for "a new partnership and a new deal with our friends in the EU based on trade and cooperation, but without this supranational apparatus that is so out of date and is imitated nowhere else."

The mayor, who has recently announced his decision to campaign for a Brexit, called on Britons to "screw up our courage and go for change".

Johnson is among a number of high-profile politicians who have openly expressed support for a Brexit, but a majority of British cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister David Cameron, prefer staying in the EU. (IANS)

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