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UK Market Shaken After London Mayor Decides To Support Brexit

boris johnsonIn a move that could have a major impact on the upcoming referendum in Britain on whether to remain in the European Union (EU), Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has declared his support for the Vote Leave campaign, which favors Britain leaving the EU.

The support from Johnson adds significant weight to the Vote Leave campaign given his immense popularity. He is the second major leader from the ruling party to announce his support for leaving the EU, with Michael Gove, the justice secretary being the first one to throw his support behind the BREXIT.

The financial markets reacted strongly after the mayor’s announcement, with the sterling falling to a seven-year low against the dollar closing at $1.4175. It also fell against the euro losing around 1 percent to 78.08 pence per euro.

Johnson said that he arrived at the decision after determining that the recent deal struck by PM David Cameron with European Union would not result in a reformed EU that was promised. The new deal has revised the terms by which Britain remains in the EU, giving it special status within the Union.

According to Johnson, the deal should have had more terms on trade and cooperation rather than focusing on elements around integration with the Union. He said that he had expected Cameron to strike more ambitious terms, saying that the current deal will not benefit the country.

In a statement, Boris Johnson, Mayor, London said,

I will be advocating Vote Leave – or whatever the team is called, I understand there are a lot of them – because I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money and to take control. That is really what this is all about.

He added that although in the minority, he believes leaving EU is the right thing to do.

With this, the Mayor of London joins supporters from other parties such as Nigel Farage, right-wing leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and George Galloway of Respect Party on the side of Vote Leave.

Johnson has issued assurances that he would not get into a spot where he has to battle his own party members on TV debates and also stated that he would not share the stage with Galloway. Countering accusations of utilizing this as an opportunity to establish himself as a strong contender for the post of Prime Minister should Cameron have to resign in the aftermath of the referendum, Johnson shunned these rumors by asking Cameron to continue
as the Prime Minister regardless of the result.

The support from Johnson is likely to give the Vote Leave campaign a major boost as a recent survey highlighted the fact that Johnson is now the second most important leader after Cameron to influence the public with regards to decisions on how to vote. The campaign has so far had limited mainstream leaders on its side.

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