No 10 rejects Boris Johnson's call for Britain to have EU law veto

Boris Johnson chairs meeting

Downing Street has slapped down Boris Johnson’s call for David Cameron to demand the ability for Britain to reject and overturn EU legislation.

Asked whether the prime minister agreed with Johnson that parliament should pass legislation saying it can veto EU laws, Cameron’s spokesman said: “That’s not part of our negotiation.”

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the London mayor said: “You could amend the act which says that all EU directives, regulations and other obligations have supremacy over British law to say that it has supremacy unless expressly overturned by parliament.”

Johnson added: “The great thing, which makes it so attractive, is that you don’t need a negotiation. You don’t need Angela Merkel’s permission at all. All you need is to get it through the House of Commons. It could be done by us alone. I hope that will be the end product of what the prime minister is alluding to in his excellent speech.”

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has flirted with throwing his weight behind the campaign to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum, a move that would increase his popularity with Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers.

Speaking to the BBC during a trip to Japan in October, Johnson said the costs of leaving the EU were lower then ever, contradicting warnings issued by business leaders hours earlier at the launch of what is likely to be the official pro-Europe campaign.

“I think I am exactly where the prime minister is and, I think, actually a huge number of the proportion of the British public,” he said. “We want, in an ideal world, to stay in a reformed EU but I think the price of getting out is lower than it’s ever been. It’s better for us to stay in, but to stay in a reformed EU. That’s where I am.”

Last Tuesday, Cameron unveiled his EU reform plans in a six-page letter to the European council president, Donald Tusk, vowing to campaign vigorously to remain in the EU if he succeeded in his negotiations.

Cameron demanded new protections for non-euro members to ensure that those in the eurozone cannot draw up new rules for the single market without their agreement, asked for a British opt-out from the EU’s historic commitment to forge an ever closer union, called for a boosting of EU competitiveness, and also for a way to be found for Britain to reduce its “very high level” of EU immigration.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Frances Perraudin and Rowena Mason, for theguardian.com on Monday 16th November 2015 14.38 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010