‘We can be like Canada’ – Boris Johnson on Brexit

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:15 GMT, Mar 12, 2016 |

In typically colourful language, the London mayor told an audience in Kent that the British must “hold our nerve and not be cowed by the gloom don poppers” who think the UK would not prosper on its own.

He went on to issue a plea for voters to “ignore the pessimists and the merchants of doom” who are arguing the UK should fear being outside the EU – an argument made by Cameron on the grounds of economic uncertainty and national security.

Johnson then cited Canada as a good example of a country that has free trade deals with the rest of the world while maintaining control of its borders.

“I think we can strike a deal as the Canadians have done based on trade and getting rid of tariffs. It’s a very, very bright future I see,” he said.

Johnson named the North American country after David Cameron made several speeches dismissing the idea that the UK could be like Norway or Switzerland, which are outside the EU but have to pay in and accept free movement.

But the prime minister also gave a speech on Friday rejecting the rosy economic picture painted by Johnson, suggesting it was wishful thinking.