London Mayor Says Britain Would Have Bright Future Outside EU

  • It's a `once-in-a-lifetime thing,' Johnson tells the Times
  • Johnson says `no' vote would `jolt' European Union countries

Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the U.K. would have a “great future” if it votes to leave the 28-member European Union in a referendum planned for this June.

QuickTake Will Britain Leave the EU?

David Cameron and Boris Johnson

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Johnson told The Times newspaper in an interview. “It is not going to come round again. If we don’t do it now this thing is just going to grind on and become less and less democratic and more and more burdensome.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has called the in-out referendum on June 23 after securing a deal with fellow EU leaders including curbs on welfare for non-British EU citizens, measures to block unwanted regulation and U.K. exemption from the EU goal of “ever closer union.” Since then, the campaigning on both sides of the debate has heated up, with Cameron’s friend and fellow Conservative, Johnson, calling for a U.K. exit to save the country money and gain more control over its own lawmaking.

“The advantage of a ‘no’ vote is that it would jolt the whole system in Europe,” Johnson said of a decision in favor of leaving the EU, according to the report in the London-based Times. “For their own sake, they need to look at the way they are doing things.”

Johnson said the risk with staying inside the EU is that it’s an “anti-democratic” structure that is holding back British industries and their ability to compete with international firms.

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