Shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, has harshly criticized former London mayor, Boris Johnson, saying he has lost his “moral compass” in response to his “offensive and desperate” comments that compared European Union efforts to build a superstate to Hitler’s attempt to dominate the continent. During an interview on Saturday, Mr Johnson compared the EU and the Nazi dictator while acknowledging that the EU was using “different methods” to the Nazis. However, the comparison still drew bitter reaction from the Remain campaigners.
Often viewed as the de facto leader of the Leave campaign, Johnson stated that the past 2,000 years of European history had been dominated by failed attempts of unifying the continent under a single government to recreate the “golden age” of the Romans. He alleged that “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.” Johnson added that “fundamentally, what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe. There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”
Responding to Johnson’s comments, Hilary Benn stated that “leave campaigners have lost the economic argument and now they are losing their moral compass” and added that “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.”
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