Front-man of the Vote Leave campaign, Boris Johnson, has made a shocking claim that the EU has the same aim as Hitler in "trying to create a super-state".
Mr Johnson, MP, the former mayor of London, told The Telegraph, that the past 2,000 years of European history had been dominated by doomed attempts to unify the continent under a single government to recreate the “golden age” of the Romans.
“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,” he said.
He added that this was now, “a chance for British people to be the heroes of Europe” to stop the EU getting out of control. “It is time for someone – it’s almost always the British in European history – to say, 'we think a different approach is called for’.”
The problem with Mr Johnson’s analysis is that he refers to the EU as if it was a separate foreign power with its own independent - and nasty - agenda to take over Europe.
One can only speculate as to why Mr Johnson is choosing to portray the EU in such a grotesquely inaccurate way, since he must know the truth.
We are the EU. The EU does not run us; with our 27 EU allies, and the democratically elected European Parliament, we help to run the EU.
There can be no changes to the EU; no enlargement; no new countries joining; no new treaties, without the unanimous agreement of every EU member state, including the UK, and the elected European Parliament.
Every new treaty since Britain joined 43 years ago was democratically agreed by our Parliament in Westminster. No changes to our membership of the EEC/EC/EU have ever been imposed on us – and neither could they be.
There is absolutely no resemblance between the EU and Hitler. Such comparisons by Mr Johnson are reckless, childish and extremely offensive.
The Nazi regime was not a democracy. It did not ‘unite’ Europe but ferociously bombed and bludgeoned the continent into submission.
Tens of millions were brutally and systematically murdered on an industrial scale. There were no human rights; there was no respect for life.
The EU was established as the antidote to war and hate. It is founded on democracy, human rights and free trade. No country was forced to join the EU, and all members are free to leave.
The EU is a democracy. It can only change with the unanimous agreement of all member states. Its laws, aimed to protect half-a-billion citizens, are all democratically agreed.
Far from being a dictatorship or one-party state, the European Union is made up of many governments, and democratically elected MEPS, from right across the political spectrum.
Unlike the Nazi or Communist regimes, the EU values include, "respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”
Mr Johnson’s comparison between Hitler and the EU has brought sharp condemnation.
Shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, MP, said:
“Leave campaigners have lost the economic argument and now they are losing their moral compass.
“After the horror of the second world war, the EU helped to bring an end to centuries of conflict in Europe, and for Boris Johnson to make this comparison is both offensive and desperate.”Former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper MP, a member of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, commented that Mr Johnson was playing a “nasty, nasty game”.
“The more he flails around with this kind of hysterical claim, the more he exposes his shameful lack of judgement, his willingness to play the most divisive cynical politics, and the emptiness of his arguments,” she said.How has this EU debate sunk so low?
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#EUReferendum: #BorisJohnson hits rock-bottom with #Hitler— Jon Danzig (@Jon_Danzig) May 15, 2016
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