“Eff off” and “man up”: Brexit causing MPs – even PM – to quarrel

Most of the arguments revolve around a speech Johnson made, whereby he claimed Britain could follow a similar model used by Canada to thrive outside the EU. In his usual colourful language, he said Britain must “hold [its] nerve and not be cowed by the gloomadon poppers” who think the nation would not prosper on its own.

This notion was swiftly dismissed by Cameron as being “too good to be true”. He later went on to say that Johnson was “literally making things up” as he went along after, in his Ask Boris session, he appeared to backtrack on his previous statements, instead saying “there were some elements of the Canada [trade] deal [he liked].

Cameron said: “Canada is a country 4,000 miles away from Europe that does ten per cent of its trade with the EU. We are just 20 miles away and do 50 per cent of our trade with the EU. So a Canada deal is not the right deal for us. Today, the leaders of the leave campaign are saying they don’t really want a Canada deal at all and that their previous comments were wrong. They are literally making it up as they go along. They are rolling the dice, and taking a risk with people’s jobs and families’ finances and that’s not good enough for the British people.”

While he maintained that Johnson was a close friend who had a “very strong future in British politics”, he untactfully said Johnson’s judgment was “wrong” and that he was disappointed in his viewpoint.

Meanwhile, criticism also came from Labour MP Peter Mandelson, who decided to throw in his own two cents and claim he didn’t think Johnson knew what he was talking about. Of course, this came after Johnson claimed those supporting British membership of the EU had been wrong on the single currency a decade ago – and were wrong now too.

Read more about the Brexit debate:

He also endorsed Cameron’s view that Johnson was making up his campaign, saying: “I don’t think he knows how the single market operates, what the rules of trade are or what the alternatives are. He’s talking off the top of his head and he’s doing so not because he cares about the economics. He’s playing politics with this issue without thinking through the economic consequences for our investment and jobs in this country, that’s the problem with Johnson.”

Furthermore, Johnson also had an on-air LBC radio argument with former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna – anyone else starting to spot the trend?

Umunna claimed Johnson had entered the Brexit debate for personal gain, which led to both MPs telling each other to “man up”. It started when Umunna told Johnson: “If anybody is talking down our country and has been for some time now it is you. You bought a circus to your house to make the announcement. What you need to understand this isn’t about you, it’s about our city.”

After shouting “rubbish” at Umunna, Johnson responded: “Nor is it about you quite frankly. I have to say it is very sad that we are being invited to continue to remain in a system that is, I think, less and less democratic. All you hear form the remain campaign is gloom and negativity of our chances. Don’t weasel around, come on, man up.”

Umunna replied: “No you man up – you’re trying to put words in my mouth.”

On a side note, Conservative MP Nicholas Soames told fellow John Redwood to “bugger off” over demands that backbenchers listen to party members when deciding which way to vote in the referendum.

As such, Redwood emailed MPs to tell them they must back Brexit if they claimed to be eurosceptic at the general election. “This referendum will be a defining moment for MPs,” he said. “We will be judged for several Parliaments to come by what we do and how we vote. Some colleagues have implied that as it is the people’s choice their vote can be a private matter. This is unrealistic.” Soames didn’t take too kindly to his advice. Here’s their Twitter spat for your viewing pleasure:

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