London mayor questioned over EU ‘exaggeration’ Boris Johnson says there are no economic downsides of Britain leaving union

LONDON (AA) – A leading proponent of Britain’s exit from the EU, London Mayor Boris Johnson, was questioned by lawmakers Wednesday over his claims that EU regulations were bad for British business.

Johnson, who is also a Conservative Party lawmaker, was grilled by members of the House of Commons treasury select committee over his assertion that there is no economic argument for the U.K. remaining in Europe.

He has claimed that the trade benefits of British membership could be “very rapidly” replaced with a bilateral trade deal between the union and Britain.

However, the committee’s chairman, fellow Conservative Andrew Tyrie, said Johnson’s arguments on a British exit were based on “exaggeration to the point of misrepresentation”.

The U.K. will hold a referendum on leaving the EU on June 23. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the campaign to remain.

Johnson said that, as mayor of London, he was unconvinced by arguments that leaving the EU would damage the capital’s reputation as a leading financial center.

“I think the City would continue to flourish outside the EU, flourish mightily,” he said, referring to the City of London financial district.

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