Boris Johnson, previously Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary.
Born in New York. His father is a British author, former politician and a previously a Conservative MEP. Education: European School of Brussels, Ashdown House School, Eton College and Balliol Oxford.
Best Conference Quotes
“Think what we could do with proper free trade deals. And that is why it is so sad, so desperately wrong, that we are preparing to agree terms with Brussels that would make it difficult if not impossible to do such deals. And that is why it is such a mistake for us to leave on the Chequers terms, locked in the tractor beam of Brussels. We will not only be prevented from offering our tariff schedules. We will be unable to make our own laws – to vary our regulatory framework for goods, agrifoods and much much more besides”.
“It would mean that UK business and industry – the entire economy – would be exposed perpetually to regulations that might have been expressly designed, at the behest of foreign competitors, to do them down”.
“It would mean that whatever the EU came up with in future, banning the sale of eggs by the dozen, banning diabetics from driving, banning vaping, whatever – and all of those have been at least considered by Brussels in the last few years – all of this nonsense we would have to implement with no ability to change or resist”.
“My fellow Conservatives, this is not democracy. That is not what we voted for. It is a constitutional outrage. It’s not taking back control: It’s forfeiting control. And by the way they know it in Brussels. Don’t be fooled by the suggestion that the EU will ultimately reject these proposals. Because what they want above all is to demonstrate to any other country that might even dream of following suit – that you cannot leave the EU without suffering adverse political and economic consequences”.
“And instead of reasserting our ability to make our laws, the UK will be effectively paraded in manacles down the Rue de la Loi like Caractacus”.
“Do not believe that we can somehow get it wrong now, bodge it now and fix it later – get out properly next year, or the year after. That is total fantasy”.
“If Chequers is agreed, then I’m afraid it will only embolden those who are now calling for a second referendum. These are the same people, incidentally, who explicitly told the electorate in 2016, that if they voted to leave there was no going back. Remember that, no second chances, that was it. That voting leave meant leaving the customs union and the single market, and they said that the people had to get it right in 2016 because they would never be asked again. They are now cynically campaigning to do just that, in a way that I think would be disastrous for trust in politics. People will see that they are simply being asked to vote again until they give the side that wants to stay in the EU the answer they want”.
“And now therefore is the time truly to take back control and follow that vision, make the elegant dignified and grateful exit the country voted for. This is the moment to do that –there is time – to chuck Chequers”.
“And if we get it right, then the opportunities frankly are immense. It is not just that we can do proper free trade deals. In so many areas of the twenty first century economy this country is already light years ahead”.
“And of course our European friends and partners can see that that might be possible – and that is exactly why they want to constrain us”.
“If we get this right, it can be win-win for both sides of the Channel. If we get it wrong – if we bottle Brexit now – believe me, the people of this country will find it hard to forgive”.
“If we cheat the electorate – and Chequers is a cheat – we will escalate that sense of mistrust”.
“And so for one last time, I hope you will join me by urging our friends in government to deliver what the people voted for, to back Theresa May in the best way possible, by softly, quietly, and sensibly supporting her original plan”.
“This government will be remembered for having done something brave and right and remarkable and in accordance with the wishes of the people”.