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Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech during a visit to the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire. (Photo: Frank Augstein via PA Wire/PA Images)
Boris Johnson has claimed the “deep state” and Keir Starmer will try to take Britain back into the European Union after he leaves office.
The outgoing prime minister made the bizarre comment as he defended his government’s record.
Johnson will leave office on September 6 after being forced out by his own MPs.
But opening a debate on a confidence motion the government tabled in itself, the PM insisted he had achieved a great deal during his three years in office - including finalising the UK’s exit from the EU.
He said: “Some people will say as I leave office that this is the end of Brexit, oh yes, and the leader of the opposition and the deep state will prevail in its plot to haul us back into alignment with the EU as a prelude to our eventual return, and we on this side of the House will prove them wrong, won’t we?”
The “deep state” is a term often used by conspiracy theorists to describe shadowy government officials who carry out secret acts unbeknown to the wider public.
Johnson was a key player in the Vote Leave campaign which led to the UK voting for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
Despite campaigning for Remain, Starmer insisted earlie this month that a future Labour government will not try to overturn that result.
He said: “There are some who say ‘We don’t need to make Brexit work. We need to reverse it’. I couldn’t disagree more.
“Because you cannot move forward or grow the country or deliver change or win back the trust of those who have lost faith in politics if you’re constantly focused on the arguments of the past.
“So let me be very clear: with Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.