David Cameron, the British prime minister who called the Brexit referendum, says in a new memoir that Boris Johnson, Britain’s leader now, embraced withdrawing from the European Union only when he sensed it would be politically advantageous.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari following a meeting in Downing Street, central London on May 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

“He risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career,” Mr Cameron, who stepped down in 2016 after voters surprisingly backed a withdrawal, writes in the memoir, “For the Record.”

After three years of relative silence from the former prime minister, the excerpts from his book read alternately as a public apology of sorts and personal defence from a man who is still being blamed by many Britons for the political chaos the country now finds itself in, according to The New York Times.

Mr Johnson became prime minister about two months ago and advocates leaving the European Union under any circumstances.

The book, which has been serialized in The Times of London, comes at an awkward time. While Mr Johnson’s uncertainty about whether to leave the bloc earlier in his career is not a secret, Mr Cameron’s memoirs come about six weeks before a deadline to leave.

According to The New York Times report, Mr Johnson has been insistent that Britain should leave the European Union “do or die,” he has said even if no agreement is reached, despite concerns that a “no-deal” departure could bring an array of problems, among them food shortages, skyrocketing fuel prices, scarcities of some medications, days-long waits at the border and perhaps even civil unrest.

The memoir touches on a broad range of issues: the death of Mr Cameron’s son Ivan at age 6; his days smoking marijuana in high school at Eton; his university years in Oxford; and other high-profile, non-Brexit-related political issues, notably the Scottish independence referendum and the legalisation of gay marriage.

But, like his immediate successor, Theresa May, Mr Cameron is unlikely to ever escape the shadow of Brexit. Many Britons remain furious over Mr Cameron’s decision to call a referendum on membership in the European Union, and the country remains divided on the issue.

Vanguard News.


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