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Boris Johnson’s colourful call to arms over Europe means little when Brexit theatens Sunderland’s economy

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers his speech - "road to Brexit, a United Kingdom", as part of the government's road map on Brexit, at the Policy Exchange, London. Pic by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers his speech - "road to Brexit, a United Kingdom", as part of the government's road map on Brexit, at the Policy Exchange, London. Pic by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
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When he’s in full flow, Boris Johnson is hard not to like.

His eccentric appearance and disarming turn of phrase make him, on his better days, an engaging and persuasive character.

Once again on the subject of Brexit he has conjured up a memorable image in his defence of an EU exit. Leaving the EU he said was not a “great V-sign from the cliffs of Dover”but was “the expression of legitimate and natural desire to self govern of the people.”

“Brexit,” he said, “is not grounds for fear, but hope.”

Stirring stuff from the foreign secretary, but being a persuasive orator does not make you right.

We are beyond any need for tub thumping fervour. This is now no longer a battle for hearts and minds but a very practical demand for facts. That we are leaving the EU is not longer up for debate. What matters is not a united front across the nation - that will never happen - but a clear sight of the nuts and bolts of our extraction from the EU. Flowery imagery of a UK free from the shackles of our European overlords counts for zilch. We need to know from the experts what the move will mean for real jobs, real prospects and real people.

The experts in these fields are not prone to linguistic acrobatics, just the facts. And, as we reveal today, their no nonsense assimilation of a Brexit for our community may lack clever metaphors, but they still manage to paint a pretty bleak picture of Brexit.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit would leave our region one of the worst affected in Britain with 12.2% of our economy exposed. Boris can paint his pretty pictures of Brexit, but our readers have really only one choice to make.

Do they believe the colourful politician or the hard-nosed experts?

Boris may not like what they have to say.