The mayor of one the world's leading financial hubs, London, has called the euro a "calamitous project" and demanded a national referendum on whether Britain should retain its EU membership.
Boris Johnson, speaking at the Thomson Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf, has called for negotiations on a new "pared-down relationship" with Brussels, stressing that the UK should remain in the single market but leave the political union.
“And if people don't think the new relationship is an improvement, then they will exercise their sovereign right to leave the EU,” he said in a speech calling for a formation of an "outer-tier" of the EU, which would also include non-member states Switzerland and Norway.
Johnson asked Prime Minister David Cameron to alter Britain's tactics with EU partners.
“I don't understand why we continually urge the eurozone countries to go forward with this fiscal and political union, when we know in our hearts that it is anti-democratic and therefore intellectually and morally wrong,” he said.
He called the common currency a “nightmare” and gave a grim prediction that it “will eventually blow up – but I wouldn't care to bet on when.”
The prime minister's office dismissed Mayor Johnson’s criticism, saying that Cameron believes the fiscal union is an “inevitable” consequence of joining the single currency, and that the prime minister has not been persuaded to change his views. Downing Street has also offered a solution.
“The Prime Minister thinks there will soon be a time for a fresh settlement, and there should be fresh consent for that settlement. The cleanest, neatest, simplest way of doing that is through a referendum,” quotes the Evening Standard.
In a national poll released in November by Opinium/Observer, the survey found that 56 per cent of Britons would favor leaving the union if put to a referendum. Around 68 per cent of Conservative showed willingness to leave the EU as opposed to 44 per cent from Labour.
Robert Oulds, the director of the Bruges Group think tank, told RT that it all comes down to the financial burden imposed by Brussels.
“Most people in Britain do want the UK out of the European Union. They think the EU is a massive burden both in terms of tax, the amount that you have to pay EU each year and of course each regulatory burden," Oulds said.
“Britain has global trading links,” he added. “We don't really need to be run by Brussels and the institutions of the European Union.”