Speaking from Davos, Boris Johnson said on BBC News today, he was optimistic that David Cameron can achieve a new deal for Britain in the EU. Boris said he would be prepared to campaign for EU withdrawal if he did not believe the deal Britain was getting was acceptable. He said while he personally preferred to remain in the EU and he believed negotiations would be successful, “You cannot go into any serious negotiation of this kind without at least being able to walk away.”
We joined on a free trade zone basis in 1975, pointed out the Mayor, so it should be no problem in reasserting that basis. Voters do not feel consulted, he continued, so this is the first opportunity for 40 years for the voice of the British people to be heard.
He also explained why it was so valuable for leading international figures to go to Davos and explained that after the Olympics, it has never been so easy to sell London abroad as a home for investment.
In an interview with Bloomberg tv., Boris explains why he thinks a new role for Britain in the EU is possible.
Interesting interview with Richard Quest of CNN is here.
Boris Johnson is flying to Davos today to address the World Economic Forum to “put the shine” on the disappointing economic figures released by the government yesterday. No-one is a better ambassador for London than our Mayor and he also intends to “”harness the unique sponsorship opportunities London has to offer to both UK and international businesses.”
The Mayor said:”Over the next few years London will be in the world’s spotlight with billions watching our every move. The Royal Wedding, the 2012 Games, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and a range of other global reaching events in the capital will reinforce the city’s presence on the international stage like no other world city has ever done before. I will be telling the world’s business leaders in Davos that now is the time both to benefit from these huge opportunities that are arising and, at the same time, give something back to the capital.” Continue reading
City Mayors’ Metro News had this Johnson anecdote to contribute to the bulging file of witty sayings compiled by all Boris watchers. This tip is bizarre, rather than hilarious though. Boy, Mayor Boris must be really desperate for those bankers to stay!
“Like Bloomberg, London Mayor Boris Johnson fears a tightening of financial regulations would lead to banks and hedge funds moving to countries like Switzerland, Singapore and China. At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Johnson pleaded with bankers not leave the City of London. According to press reports he even warned a group of Japanese bankers that in the Canton of Berne, men were not allowed to urinate standing up after 22:00 hours, for fear of disturbing the neighbours.”
He flew to Davos today to address the annual World Economic Forum, promoting London as a world beating industry and stressing the importance of the City.
In two days, Boris has an absolutely jam packed schedule, speaking to investors and business leaders, attending a minimum of 10 meetings. His huge vigour and energy are employed in driving home the tremendous opportunities that the capital has to offer.
The full details of Boris’s trip are laid out in his press release. On Friday, it was the turn of David Cameron to address the WEF and his full speech is given here. The subject of this keynote speech was restoring Britain’s economic reputation. Mr. Cameron praised Boris for flying economy, and he made no mention of Lord Mandelson’s first class ticket. (Boris and Lord M. were on the same flight).
Boris made this tweet from Davos on his twitter site, @MayorOfLondon. “ Just urged the punters to befriend a banker in order to hug a hoodie. They have got to come to the table to help society.” This seems much more constructive than shrinking the financial sector. As a result of this appeal, two major banks are making substantial donations to the Mayor’s Fund. Yippee! Well done Boris, thank you to the banks, the details here.