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Chuka Umunna warns Boris Johnson will become Donald Trump's 'poodle' as he urges voters to stop Tory majority

3 min read

Chuka Umunna has claimed Boris Johnson will become Donald Trump's "poodle" after Brexit as he urged voters to deprive the Tories of a majority.

The party's foreign affairs spokesman said the UK risked becoming a "vassal" of the United States if Mr Johnson succeeds in his ambition to deliver Brexit by the end of January.

It comes as Mr Umunna appeared to water down his party's ambitions of getting into government, claiming instead they would play a "vital" role in robbing the Tory leader Prime of a majority.

Speaking ahead of next week's gathering of Nato leaders in London, Mr Umunna said: "Not only will we cease to be that important bridge between the EU and the US but by withdrawing from the European Union, inevitably Johnson will become more reliant on Trump in the short term if he is re-elected. 

"Johnson is desperate to secure a US trade deal to make up for the damage done to our global standing if Brexit happens."

He added: "From my own contacts with the US government, it is clear a high price will be demanded and close alignment with US rules and regulation demanded - we risk becoming a vassal state of the US if Boris Johnson gets a majority.

"Leave the EU and the UK under Johnson will become President Trump’s poodle. That is what is at stake at this election."

The former Labour MP also accused Mr Johnson of "following the Trump playbook" - as he said the controversial US leader had engaged in "bigoted, sexist and Islamophobic" behaviour" and had been willing to "lie and break the law".

He added: "All the same criticisms apply to the UK’s Prime Minister who is following the Trump playbook and has become part of this global network of populist, right wing, authoritarian nationalists.  

"Giving Johnson a majority is to give carte blanche to this type of politics in the UK - something which should worry us all."

Meanwhile, Mr Umunna claimed his party's plans to revoke Article 50 could deliver an extra £1bn for defence spending by 2024-25 due to a stronger British economy.

But, in an admission his party was unlikely to win a majority, the Lib Dem hopeful urged Remain-backing voters to "vote tactically" for his party - saying "at the very least" it would help reduce the number of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs.

"In order to stop this calamity and for the numbers to add up to Stop Brexit in a new House of Commons, at the very least we must reduce the numbers of Conservative MPs – all of whom have signed a pledged to deliver this hardest of hard Brexits," he said.  

"In this, the Liberal Democrats have a vital and decisive role to play because only we can take seats from the Tories in significant numbers."

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