Boris Johnson warns: The state of Greece shows us [UK] why it is crucial to chuck the Chequers deal

Greeks were forced to accept austerity measures by Merkel, he said

The former Foreign Secretary and top Brexit supporter, Boris Johnson has used the example of Greece to argue that the UK cannot accept Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal, which he claims would leave us subservient to the EU and would allow Brussels to trash our economy.

Mr Johnson claimed in an op-ed in The Telegraph “the answer is clear” and in a stunning anti-May diatribe urged the UK to “Chuck Chequers”.

The prominent Brexit supporter painted a desperate picture of the situation in Greece, which has only just quit a stifling EU bailout programme.

He noted: “Drive around any big Greek city, away from the tourist spots, and in every boarded-up building and smashed window you see the devastation of Greek industry.

“In the frenzied antiestablishment graffiti, you see the rage of a lost generation of young people who still feel they have no hope of a job.

“Overall unemployment is still running at 20 per cent.

“There are an astonishing 35 per cent of people living in absolute poverty.”

All this, Mr Johnson argued, is the fault of the EU.

The unemployment figure, he argued, is so high: “precisely because Greece is an EU country and meekly obeyed the prescriptions of Brussels.

“The Greeks were forced, mainly by Angela Merkel of Germany, to accept an austerity regime of draconian budget cuts” which led to a “downwards cycle of economic decay”.

He concluded that: “The euro crisis is far from over.

“One day it remains highly likely that it will implode.

“And in the meantime, the experience of Greece alone is a lesson in the absolute insanity of any country allowing itself to be bullied by EU negotiators.”