VAL 2016 | Vill vi att det parlamentariska systemet skall urholkas? Det är den fråga som Boris Johnson vill att väljarna skall ställa sig inför folkomröstningen.
Den populära f.d. borgmästaren i London har blivit den främsta talespersonen för Brexit, kampanjen för Storbritanniens utträde ur EU.
Han är dessutom tippad att bli nästa partiledare för Torypartiet om David Cameron inte lyckas få väljarna att rösta Ja till ett fortsatt medlemskap.
En myt som Johnson slår hål på är att EU skulle vara så bra för näringslivet och konkurrensen.
En märklighet i den politiska debatten i både Sverige och Storbritannien är att partier som i vanliga fall talar om hur viktigt det är med konkurrens på marknaden inte verkar tycka det är viktigt på den europeiska marknaden.
Hade man verkligen tyckt konkurrens var viktigt skulle man inte stillatigande acceptera all den byråkrati som hämmar just konkurrensen inom EU.
James Forsyth och Fraser Nelson på The Spectator intervjuade nyligen Johnson om folkomröstningskampanjen:
He has a book on Shakespeare to finish, a Brexit campaign to win, and, if the bookmakers are to be believed, a Tory leadership campaign to assemble. He’s currently red-hot favourite for the top job.
But Boris’s emergence as one of the leaders of the Leave campaign took many by surprise. To his critics, it was a cynical conversion and an unashamed attempt to woo Eurosceptic Tory members ahead of a leadership bid. In the thousands of articles he had written about Europe before this referendum, he had never advocated leaving. ‘It is unquestionably true that I’ve changed,’ Boris admits. ‘But so has the EU. And of the two of us, it’s the EU that has changed more than me.’
The Prime Minister, Boris says, took a ‘punt’ in calling the referendum without securing a substantial deal. ‘I think that was a mistake. I think the British public are looking at all this and thinking: “Take back £20 billion? Take back control of the borders? Run the country? Democracy? You know, it might be a good idea.”’
So what kind of relationship does Boris want with the EU after Brexit? He knows what he doesn’t want: ‘the so-called single market’, which he says is a problem rather than the solution. ‘People think the single market is a great wonderful European souk or bazaar in which you will find absolutely everything humanity could possibly desire: aubergines, derivatives, trucks, ballistic missiles…’ But, unfortunately, the single market is ‘a gigantic system’ that imposes ‘extremely detailed and onerous rules on a territory of 500 million’.
‘Dear Spectator reader: do you see Britain’s future as an open, global, free trading, dynamic economy based on confidence in tried and tested British institutions? Or do you believe that in order to survive we need to remain embedded in something that fundamentally takes away our powers? Something that, over the past 15 years or so, has been a powerful depressor of jobs and growth in our historic European home?’
He is confident that his two great historical heroes would be on his side in this struggle. Churchill would not have wanted ‘parliamentary sovereignty to have been so compromised. I think he believed in that above all else. He would have felt it had gone too far.’ And he contends that Pericles, the great Athenian statesman he so often cites, would also have been an Outer. Boris argues that ‘to stick up for democracy is entirely Periclean’ and that the referendum ultimately comes down to whether you believe in ‘rule by the many, not the few’.
If the referendum goes against Boris, he thinks that the next Conservative party manifesto should admit that EU immigration into Britain cannot be controlled: ‘They should be honest.’ He goes on: ‘One of the most corrosive things is that government won’t level with us about it.’
Still, he remains hopeful that he can help Vote Leave win this referendum. ‘We are asking the British people to be brave, to be confident in themselves and to believe in Britain,’ he says with his trademark enthusiasm. ‘We have a very good chance.’
Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator den 14 maj 2016.