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  1. ITV Report

Boris: 'Irony' in US dictating to UK on sovereignty

'Vote Leave' campaigner Boris Johnson thinks US comments on Brexit are ironic Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Boris Johnson has claimed there is a "heavy irony" in the fact that the US are allegedly trying to wade in on the UK's Brexit debate given how fiercely the nation protects their own sovereignty.

But the White House responded today saying the US was "entirely respectful" of the referendum process and accepted the British people would decide the outcome.

Report by ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship.

Speaking in the wake of comments he made in his Daily Telegraph column attacking Barack Obama over his so-called EU debate "hypocrisy", Boris said he found it "curious" that Britain should be urged to so something that he believes the US would never do themselves.

The Mayor of London told ITV News that it was "curious" that the US would lobby the UK against Brexit when it defends its own sovereignty with such vigilance.

I think there's a paradox, which is that the EU is trying to take a lot of money off us, it's very antidemocratic, it's taking control over borders, it's creating all sorts of difficulties for countries and it takes away national control in a way that Americans would never dream of allowing to happen to their own government or their own democracy...

There's an irony in that America is a country that defends its sovereignty and its democracy with more vigilance than any other country I can think of. It [the US] refuses to allow its citizens to be subject to any international jurisdiction whatever and it would not for a minute countenance pooling or subjugating its national sovereignty in any way, and so it's curious that we should be urged further down that path which is what is on offer.

– Boris Johnson
  • US "deeply values" UK as part of the EU

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that the US hopes Britain remains part of the EU, but insists it is "entirely respectful" of the referendum process.