European Union (EU) President Donald Tusk says former London mayor and Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson has “political amnesia” after Johnson compared the EU’s unifying agenda to Adolf Hitler’s plan to rule the continent.
Speaking at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tusk said, “When I hear the EU being compared to the plans and projects of Adolf Hitler I cannot remain silent.”
“Such absurd arguments should be completely ignored if they hadn’t been formulated by one of the most influential politicians in the ruling party,” he said.
“Boris Johnson crossed the boundaries of a rational discourse, demonstrating political amnesia,” he added.
Tusk was responding to comments Johnson made in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, published Sunday, in which he said that attempts to unify Europe
“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,” Johnson said.
Boris Johnson (AFP)
Tusk’s intervention is significant as the EU’s most senior figures have been keeping a low profile in the campaign despite their anti-Brexit stance.
A British exit from the EU, or Brexit, would rip away its second-largest economy, one of its top two military powers and by far its richest financial center.
London’s status as a global financial center could be eroded if the UK
votes to leave the EU, the Washington, DC-based IMF warned on Friday.
The prediction from the IMF came a day after the Bank of England also warned about the negative impact of an EU exit.
Opinion polls have indicated that most UK voters believe staying in the EU would be best for Britain’s economy, but that support for leaving and remaining in the EU still remains at a virtual tie.
The economy and the impact of a possible British exit on jobs, wages and trade are a key battleground for both the “In” and “Out” campaigns before Britons vote on June 23 on whether to stay in the 28-member bloc.
The “In” campaign, those in favor of remaining in the bloc, argue that leaving it would risk the UK’s prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.
Those that support an EU withdrawal argue it would allow Britain to be better able to control immigration, be in a better position to conduct its own trade negotiations, and be free from what they believe to be unnecessary EU regulations and bureaucracy.