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Johnson begins final push to win backing for Brexit

Boris Johnson has kicked off a whirlwind tour of England in a final push to win backing for Brexit.

The Vote Leave standard-bearer began a frenetic day of campaigning with a dawn visit to meet market workers in London.

On a tour of Billingsgate Fish Market, the senior Tory urged voters to "believe in our country" and leave the European Union.

The former London mayor said: "I think it's been a fantastic campaign.

"Obviously we are coming to the final 24 hours. This is a crucial time, lots of people will be making up their minds, and I hope very much they will believe in our country, believe in what we can do.

"It's time to have a totally new relationship with our friends and partners across the Channel.

"It's time to speak up for democracy, and hundreds of millions of people around Europe agree with us.

"It's time to break away from the failing and dysfunctional EU system."

Mr Johnson said he wanted an immigration system that offered a "fairer policy to non-European countries" and Brexit would allow the country to tackle the "uncontrolled immigration" from the EU.

A vote to leave would be a "big, big moment for democracy in our country and around Europe".

He rejected the economic forecasts suggesting the country would face a downturn following Brexit.

Mr Johnson highlighted Remain camp chief Lord Rose's suggestion that wages for the low-paid could rise in the event of Brexit.

"What you have seen over the last few years is a huge gulf opening up and widening between the incomes of FTSE 100 chieftains and people on the shop floor on low incomes who have basically seen either a pay freeze or in real terms their wages come down," he said.

During his tour of the market, Mr Johnson shook hands and posed for selfies with traders who backed his stance on Brexit - partly in protest at the EU's Common Fisheries Policy.

Mr Johnson posed with a salmon offered by fish porter Greg Essex during the tour of the market. As photographers urged him to kiss the fish, Mr Johnson said that he had once "kissed a crocodile in Australia".

With tomorrow's vote a potentially defining moment for his political career - and that of David Cameron's - Mr Johnson insisted "the choice is more important than individual politicians".

But he added: "I think the Prime Minister should stay under any circumstances."

Mr Johnson said he "personally would advocate" a reduction in the number of migrants coming to the UK.

Asked if he was promising a reduction in the numbers migrating here, he told BBC Breakfast: "Yes", but added that he could not give a figure.

He said: "I can't give you a number because I think the way to do it, I think 333,000 is too high and I think that 77,000 coming without a job offer at all is also way too high."

He said it was time for some "common sense" in the system and to "get to a situation where this country, politicians in this country have to take responsibility for the numbers that are coming in".

He said an Australia-based points system could do away with "a huge and uncontrolled influx of people who didn't have jobs to go to".


From Belfast Telegraph