EU Referendum

Boris Johnson: UK could have great, great future outside EU

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Media captionBoris Johnson: UK could have 'great future' outside EU

Boris Johnson has said the UK has a "great, great future" outside the EU if it doesn't secure the reform it needs.

The London Mayor said his preference was to remain part of a reformed EU but is waiting to see the outcome of David Cameron's current renegotiation.

He said: "If we can't get the reform we need Britain has a great, great future elsewhere and outside."

Asked if he could campaign on the opposite side to the prime minister, he said "let's see what happens".

Mr Cameron is currently in Germany as he continues his efforts to renegotiate aspects of the UK's relations with the EU. Once the renegotiation is complete he will hold a referendum of whether or not the UK should stay in the European Union.

Mr Johnson told the BBC Mr Cameron's decision to allow ministers to campaign on either side of the argument had been the "right thing to do", saying people are "a bit internally divided".

He added: "It's something people have different views on, it's a question of principle - how far you think this country's sovereignty should be traded away or shared in exchange for EU membership."

Asked whether he could campaign against Mr Cameron in the upcoming referendum, Mr Johnson said "let's see what happens" and it's a "little bit previous".

He said Mr Cameron was "playing a difficult hand well" but it was important to be "robust" and recognise Germany and others would maintain good trading relations with the UK in any eventuality.

"We've got a good future either way," he added.

David Cameron's four main aims for renegotiation

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  • Economic governance: Securing an explicit recognition that the euro is not the only currency of the European Union, to ensure countries outside the eurozone are not disadvantaged. The UK wants safeguards that it will not have to contribute to eurozone bailouts
  • Competitiveness: Setting a target for the reduction of the "burden" of excessive regulation and extending the single market
  • Immigration: Restricting access to in-work and out-of-work benefits to EU migrants. Specifically, ministers want to stop those coming to the UK from claiming certain benefits until they have been resident for four years.
  • Sovereignty: Allowing Britain to opt out from further political integration. Giving greater powers to national parliaments to block EU legislation.

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