The declare: Boris Johnson instructed a Channel four Information reporter that he “did not say something about Turkey throughout the referendum. Since I made no remarks…I can not disown them”.
Actuality Test verdict: Boris Johnson talked in regards to the challenge of Turkey becoming a member of the EU a number of instances within the lead-up to 23 June 2016 and was co-signatory of a letter to the prime minister warning about Turkish membership every week earlier than the vote.
The previous overseas secretary Boris Johnson has been criticised, after denying that he had ever mentioned something about attainable Turkish membership of the EU throughout the referendum marketing campaign in 2016.
Taking questions after a speech on Brexit on the JCB manufacturing facility in Staffordshire, Mr Johnson mentioned: “Since I made no remarks, I can not disown them.”
He was responding to a reporter (from Channel four Information) who accused him, together with Vote Go away, of suggesting that 80 million Turks would come to the UK if it stayed within the EU.
In actual fact Mr Johnson did discuss Turkey on a number of events throughout the referendum marketing campaign, typically mentioning – accurately – that it was official authorities coverage for Turkey to affix the EU.
Per week earlier than the Brexit vote he was additionally the co-signatory of a letter to the prime minister, which spoke of the “quickly accelerating tempo” of Turkey’s accession negotiations.
The letter mentioned it was the coverage of the EU for Turkey to affix, and that if the UK authorities couldn’t assure it could block this, “the general public will draw the affordable conclusion that the one technique to keep away from having widespread borders with Turkey is to vote Go away and take again management on 23 June”.
Turkey’s long-standing software for EU membership has truly been caught within the gradual lane for years, and it’s no nearer becoming a member of the EU now than it was a decade in the past.
Mr Johnson, whose great-grandfather was Turkish, was a number one member of the Vote Go away marketing campaign, which produced a poster with the slogan: “Turkey, inhabitants 76 million, is becoming a member of the EU. Vote Go away – Take Again Management.”
It was the suggestion that Turkish accession could possibly be imminent, and that tens of millions of Turks might quickly journey to the UK, which precipitated controversy.
Requested on the time in regards to the poster, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Present, Mr Johnson mentioned, “Frankly I do not thoughts whether or not Turkey joins the EU, offered the UK leaves the EU.”
However, he mentioned: “It’s the authorities’s coverage that Turkey ought to be a part of the EU.”
And on the Nice Debate programme on Channel four, the place politicians went head-to-head with reference to leaving the EU, he mentioned: “Final time I regarded, the federal government needs to speed up Turkish membership.
“I feel it is completely affordable to ask folks whether or not they would fairly proceed on the idea of presidency guarantees of immigration or whether or not they would fairly take again management and implement (a) points-based system.”
After the denial by the previous overseas secretary, the Labour MP Chuka Umunna mentioned it was “one more lie” over which Mr Johnson had been “caught out”.
Mr Johnson’s spokesman declined to remark.
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