James Forsyth

Boris v Barack on Brexit

Boris v Barack on Brexit
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The US President flies into town next week to wish the Queen a happy 90


birthday and to encourage Britain to stay in the EU. Obama’s will be the most high profile, foreign intervention in this referendum yet. His message will be that it is in the interests of Britain, the US and the West for us to remain in the EU.

But the Out campaign have their ‘Love Actually’ moment ready, as I say in my Sun column today. Boris Johnson will knock back Obama’s advice shortly after the president has spoken, pointing out—as he did in this BBC interview—that it is ‘nakedly hypocritical’ for the US to urge us to stay in an institution that erodes sovereignty in a way that they would find completely unacceptable.

Boris’s willingness to pitch himself against the president is a sign of the stepped up role he is taking in the Out campaign. One senior Vote Leave figure tells me that ‘Boris is really putting his shoulder to the wheel’.

The Mayor of London knows that his political future is now inextricably linked to this referendum. In this campaign, he has to show that not only is he the politician voters would most like to have a drink with, but also someone whose judgement they are prepared to heed on the biggest issues facing Britain.