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Cameron condemns Leave 'liars' while Johnson says Britain 'just like Incredible Hulk'

Extracts of Cameron’s book published today reveal a disdain for Johnson and others from the Leave campaign.

download (72) Source: The Sunday Times

BREXIT AGAIN DOMINATES the Sunday papers in the UK today, with two distinct strands featuring former prime minister David Cameron taking a dig at the Brexiteers in extracts from his book and current prime minister Boris Johnson comparing Britain to the Incredible Hulk. 

Cameron, who’s stayed largely quiet since his resignation following the 2016 Brexit vote, has featured prominently in the media in the last week as he attempts to plug his memoirs which will be published next week. 

In extracts published in the Sunday Times, Cameron said that Johnson believed that campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union during the 2016 referendum would make him the “darling” of their Conservative party.

He also claimed that Johnson privately believed there should be a second referendum to confirm the terms of Brexit – something the premier has strongly resisted since.

Cameron also accused the Leave campaign of lying to the public, describing Johnson and his close ally Michael Gove of becoming “ambassadors for the expert-trashing, truth-twisting age of populism” during the campaign.

The publication comes at a turbulent time for the UK, with the Brexit deadline of 31 October looming closer.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Johnson said his team was making a “huge amount of progress” in the talks and he was “very confident” he could get a deal before a summit of EU leaders on 17 October.

download (71) Source: Mail on Sunday

This is despite Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney, Michel Barnier and others saying this week that little progress had been made, and the EU and the UK remained very far apart when it came to negotiations. 

And, in a bizarre analogy, Johnson compared Britain to the comic book character Hulk.

“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets and he always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be – and that is the case for this country,” he said.

Without a deal, Johnson insists Britain will leave the EU anyway – despite a law rushed through last week in the House of Commons to force him to delay.

The prime minister is due to meet European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Barnier in Luxembourg tomorrow.

‘Leave was lying’

Elsewhere in the extracts from Cameron’s memoir, the former PM revealed he had tried to stop Johnson from joining the Brexit campaign by offering him the post of defence secretary.

But he went ahead, and “risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career”.

He claimed Johnson believed the “Leave” camp would lose, and if it won “there could always be a fresh renegotiation, followed by a second referendum” – something he now rejects.

Meanwhile, “whichever senior Tory politician took the lead on the Brexit side — so loaded with images of patriotism, independence and romance – would become the darling of the party,” Cameron wrote. 

During the campaign, he said Johnson and Gove “behaved appallingly, attacking their own government, turning a blind eye to their side’s unpleasant actions and becoming ambassadors for the expert-trashing, truth-twisting age of populism”. 

Cameron condemned claims made by the “Leave” campaign of the savings Britain would make by ending its EU membership fees, and of the likelihood of Turkey joining the bloc.

“We were no longer in the realms of stretching the truth, but ditching it altogether. Leave was lying,” he wrote.

He said Gove became a “foam-flecked Faragist warning that the entire Turkish population was about to come to Britain”, a reference to eurosceptic politician Nigel Farage. 

Cameron said that as prime minister, he felt he could not hit back as hard, resulting in “asymmetric warfare”.

With reporting from AFP

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Sean Murray

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