ABC News(NEW YORK) — “Brexit” campaigner and newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson dismissed the notion that there are parallels between the United Kingdom’s vote in June to leave the European Union, known as “Brexit,” and the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. to become the Republican presidential nominee.
“I think there’s a sort of false analogy between Brexit and events in American politics or anywhere else in the world,” Johnson, who was until earlier this year the mayor of London, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview for This Week to air Sunday.
Both Trump, who has proclaimed himself to be “Mr. Brexit,” and another U.K. politician, Nigel Farage, have sought to highlight similarities between the GOP nominee’s campaign in the U.S. and the British referendum to leave the European Union – including on issues of trade and immigration policy. Trump even brought Farage, who was one of the leaders of the Brexit movement, on stage with him at a campaign rally in August.
“The parallels are there. There are millions of ordinary Americans who’ve been let down, who’ve had a bad time, who feel the political class in Washington are detached from them,” Farage told the crowd in Jackson, Mississippi. “You have a fantastic opportunity here with this campaign … You’ll do it by doing what we did for Brexit in Britain.”
But Johnson, who had also supported Britain’s move to leave the EU, said his country’s campaign differs from Trump on trade policy since “in the control of a trade we want free trade.”
“Brexit was about democracy … The problem is that our trade policy was handed lock, stock and barrel 43 years ago to the Commission of the European Union,” Johnson said. “Only 3.6 percent of the officials in that European Commission actually come from our country. How are they supposed to know the trade needs, the interests of British business and industry?”
He said the United Kingdom now has an opportunity to have more influence over its trade policies.
“We’ve got a chance to take back control of our WTO schedules in Geneva — our World Trade Organization highly robbed of tariffs — and do deals,” he said.
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