If a foreigner had bought a British newspaper this morning, she might have assumed Boris Johnson were already prime minister.
The outgoing mayor of London, who is a likely candidate to succeed David Cameron as Conservative Party leader at some point before the next election, came out in favor of a British exit from the European Union on Sunday night. Every major newspaper in the country apparently thought it was the most important thing in the world, for they all put him on their front pages.
This website didn’t think it worthwhile to report the news at all. Johnson is hardly the only prominent Conservative to support an exit. Several cabinet members do, including Michael Gove and Ian Duncan Smith. Johnson does lend charisma to an out campaign that has sorely lacked it. But it would have been far more newsworthy had the great flirt of Euroskeptic England thrown his support instead behind Cameron and the campaign to stay in. Read more “Voters Care Less About Boris Johnson Than the Press”
Britain’s EU referendum, which Prime Minister David Cameron said on Saturday will be held in June, is likely to divide the country along the lines of what Andrew Sullivan, a blogger, has called Europe’s “blue-red culture war over modernity.”
“Blue Europe,” according to Sullivan, is “internationalist, globalized, metrosexual, secular, modern, multicultural.” Blue Europeans tend to be better-educated and traveled.
“Red Europe,” by contrast, “is noninterventionist, patriotic, more traditional, more sympathetic to faith, more comfortable in a homogeneous society.” It is less mobile and struggling to maintain its high living standards in an era of rapid economic and social change.
“Mass immigration or migration across Europe,” according Sullivan, has “only made things worse, leading to resentment and racism when it has occurred in already beleaguered working-class Europe. The emergence of an unassimilated Muslim population didn’t help things either.”
This culture war is most pronounced when it comes to immigration.
David Cameron set a date for Britain’s EU referendum on Saturday: June 23.
“I believe Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed EU,” the prime minister said a day after winning concessions from other European leaders that give his country “special status” in the bloc.
Cameron said withdrawing from the European Union as the first nation ever to do so would be a leap in the dark.
David Cameron — perhaps predictably — does not appear to have persuaded Britain’s Euroskeptics that it is worth staying in a reformed European Union.
Some would have argued for an exit no matter the outcome of Cameron’s renegotiation. That’s fine. We think Britain is better off in the EU, but there is a reasonable case to be made against membership.
Others, though, are saying Britain should leave because the prime minister didn’t get 100 percent of what he wanted.