Opponents call out 'Boris blunder bus' as Johnson gets on the road

Written by David Singleton on 11 May 2016 in Diary
Diary

The Tory MP kicked off his nationwide tour by encouraging voters in Cornwall to back Brexit.

Boris Johnson has begun his nationwide tour urging voters to back Brexit - but immediately faced a rough ride from Remain campaigners over the vehicle he was using.

The former London Mayor unveiled the £400,000 giant Vote Leave campaign bus as he kicked off his nationwide tour urging voters to back Brexit in Truro, Cornwall this morning.

There was controversy at the outset as the UK Statistics Authority described Vote Leave’s claim on the side of its battlebus that the UK contributes £350m a week to the EU as “potentially misleading”. Johnson insisted he was happy with the decision to include a suggestion that the NHS could be £350m a week better off if the UK left the EU on the bus.

He was then accused of hypocrisy after it emerged his Brexit battle bus was made in Germany and Poland.

The Britain Stronger in Europe campaign noted that the bus is manufactured by Neoplan, a Germany company, in Germany and Poland. A source said: “If Britain were to leave the EU and trade with it under World Trade Organisation rules, as Boris Johnson proposed in his Today Programme interview this morning, buses bought from Germany under EU Most Favoured Nation tariffs would be subject to a 13 per cent tariff, an increase of £56,333 to the price.”

James McGrory, chief campaign spokesman of Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “This is Boris's blunder bus. Boris is happy to be driven round now in a German bus, when Britain enjoys all the advantages of being in the EU's Single Market.

“I doubt the British business that imported the bus would be as happy to learn that Boris wants them to pay fifty grand more for it.”

And even Tory colleagues mocked Johnson for using a EU-made bus.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands tweeted: “He did prepare a Plan B where he was to appear with foie gras, Bockwurst, tapas and Chianti Classico.”

 

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