Brexiteers not ‘bombed into submission’ quite yet – Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson © Stefan Wermuth
Anti-EU campaigners have not given up the ghost quite yet, despite US President Barack Obama’s controversial intervention last week in favor of Britain staying in the bloc, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Writing in his regular Telegraph column Monday, Johnson said the “Remain” campaign would be wrong to “think they have bombed us into submission.

He said pro-EU campaigners are “crowing too soon” and “ignoring the resilience and thoughtfulness” of many undecided voters.

Johnson is not alone in his rejection of Obama’s intervention in the campaign on Friday.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage told Sky News on Sunday that Obama had merely been “parroting the Cameron line,” and accused him of hypocrisy.

“If a British prime minister was to intervene in a presidential election, America would go absolutely berserk and say this was ridiculous outside interference. I’d rather he said nothing,” Farage added.

Another prominent Brexiteer, Conservative Justice Secretary Michael Gove, has reasserted the doom-mongering language of the so-called “Project Fear” (a term used to describe the pro-Union “No” campaign during the Scottish independence referendum in 2014) to reinvigorate the bruised “Leave” campaign.

He warned on Monday that the UK faced an immigration “free-for-all” if it retained EU membership, following an acknowledgment by the UK government that EU free movement rules made it harder to control immigration.

Writing in The Times, Gove argued that a vote to leave the EU would increase resources for the health service, strip away regulations governing new medical treatments and “set an example to the world of what a progressive public health service can achieve.”

That is the sort of reform I believe everyone can get behind,” Gove said.

Both sides in the referendum debate contain elements keen to strip away trade regulations.

On Friday, one NGO warned Obama’s visit was as much about forcing the secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the UK as it was about the EU or lunching with the Queen.

TTIP is an unpopular, anti-democratic stitch-up,” War on Want’s senior trade campaigner, Mark Dearn, said in a statement.

If President Obama truly believes in democracy he should forget about forcing this dodgy deal on the people of Europe.

Critics of the deal have branded it an undemocratic plot to impose US-style neoliberalism on Europe.