Labour’s manifesto suggests the party will extend voting rights to two million migrants from EU countries who are resident here, but who were not entitled to vote in 2016 and cannot vote in general elections.
The vast majority would be expected to back Remain – resulting in the Leave side needing to find an additional half-a-million votes to win, Tory officials said.
Mr Johnson warned that if the 2016 result was overturned in this way, it would create ‘the worst crisis in democratic politics in over a century’.
His tough-talking intervention came after a considerably lighter interview with TV personalities Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning yesterday, where he took a selfie with the pair.
Boris Johnson, who was interviewed by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning, has accused Jeremy Corbyn of planning to ‘rig’ the second referendum on Brexit by giving votes to millions of EU citizens living in the UK
In a public letter to Mr Corbyn published today, Mr Johnson called on the Labour leader to abandon his policy before polling day, arguing it would create ‘incredible bitterness’ and further damage trust in democracy.
He accused Mr Corbyn of failing to fulfil his promise to respect the referendum result and having ‘voted to block Brexit repeatedly’.
He claimed Mr Corbyn is planning to extend EU free movement rules to ‘the entire world’ and added: ‘Even worse, your manifesto sets out plans to fiddle your second referendum on Brexit.
‘You want to give two million EU nationals the vote in your referendum. This is a sly attempt to undermine the result of the 2016 referendum, and is profoundly undemocratic.
‘No true democrat, even the most ardent supporter of Remain, could support your attempt to undermine the result of a democratically expressed vote.’
Mr Johnson added: ‘Your policy of giving millions of foreign citizens the vote in order to overturn the referendum would create incredible bitterness that might take decades to repair.
The PM’s tough-talking intervention came after a considerably lighter interview with TV personalities Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning yesterday, where he took a selfie with the pair
‘Imagine how people will feel if the biggest democratic exercise in our history is overturned because you gave two million EU citizens the power to reverse Brexit.
‘It would alienate millions who already feel disenfranchised and ignored by our political system.’
Analysis published by Conservative Campaign Headquarters alongside the letter predicted up to 1.4million EU nationals would vote for Remain in 2020.
Compared to 2016, Leave would need another 483,000 votes to win under a second referendum plan, the Tories suggested. Mr Johnson’s intervention echoed the warning made by his most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, in a blog post last week.
Claiming the election was ‘much tighter’ than polls suggested, Mr Cummings sent what he called a ‘bat signal’ to Leave voters.
Labour’s manifesto promises the ‘largest extension of the franchise in generations’ including ‘full voting rights to all UK residents’.
EU nationals resident here would fall into this group. Speaking on the campaign trail in Derbyshire last night, Mr Johnson said: ‘I think the whole proposal from the Labour Party is bizarre. I think people will be outraged.
Jeremy Corbyn addresses a general election campaign rally in Birmingham on Thursday after his Brexit policy was savaged by Mr Johnson
‘To think that it is going to be rigged in some way by getting in millions more voters who’d be very likely to vote one way rather than another, I think that would cause a great deal of public disquiet and I don’t think it’s the right way forward.’
Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement, said: ‘The Labour Party believes in democracy.
‘We welcome securing a new and better Brexit deal, and putting it back to the people to have the final say.’
In his ITV interview yesterday, Mr Johnson joked about a possible appearance on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – after his father, Stanley, finished seventh in the 2017 series.
Mr Schofield suggested there was ‘always that if it goes wrong’, before Miss Willoughby added: ‘Following in your father’s footsteps…’
The PM replied: ‘He did brilliantly. I think I could certainly do the eating the funny stuff. But he was absolute amazing… I take my hat off to him.’
After yesterday’s interview, Miss Willoughby told how the Prime Minister returned and ‘whipped his phone out and took a selfie’.
Mr Schofield joked: ‘But he didn’t know he had to press the button…’
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