Robert Peston Robert Peston

What does a leaked recording reveal about Boris’s Brexit stance?

I’ve been sent a recording of a presentation made on Tuesday by the great champion of Brexit, Boris Johnson, over breakfast in Amsterdam. He was talking to “chief risk officers” of financial firms at an event called RiskMinds International, that was sponsored by, among others, the huge accounting firm PWC and the management consultancy McKinsey. Days before that big vote on Theresa May’s version of Brexit, which Johnson passionately opposes, he talks about the importance of politicians, like his hero Churchill, taking a stand against the establishment and “gambling” – making a “giant bet” – to do the right thing.

I am not going to comment much on what he says, other than to point out that he says both that what happened when we went to war with Hitler is a lesson for today and not a lesson for today (classic Johnson having and eating cake). And you will notice he takes a swipe at business and much of his own party for wanting to accommodate with Hitler – which some may see as a nod by him to his view that big business and his cabinet colleagues today should be ignored when they say they like May’s Brexit plan.

Read on, and either boo or cheer, as you think fit. Here is the relevant extract.

“The job of us as politicians is to sort it out and find a solution…

“When you look at Winston Churchill you see a man whose whole career was about risk taking – he was a compulsive gambler. This was a man who took one compulsive gamble after another – and he took all sorts of positions on things that went disastrously wrong.

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