London’s finance industry would “flourish mightily” if Britain votes to leave the European Union in the referendum on June 23, Mayor Boris Johnson told lawmakers.
Citing discussions with unidentified senior bankers, Johnson, a leading opponent of Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to keep the U.K. in the 28-nation bloc, said support for staying in the EU is “shallow” among business leaders.
“What has struck me in private conversations I occasionally have with leading bankers is how finely balanced they believe it to be, and they say they don’t think it will do any damage to London’s position as a leading financial center,” Johnson told the House of Commons Treasury Committee in London on Wednesday. “When you dig into these people’s opinions, they’re much less strongly held than you might suppose.”
Johnson announced he would be backing a so-called Brexit last month in a blow to the premier and the “Remain” campaign. His decision has won him the support of rank-and-file members of the Conservative Party and made him favorite with bookmakers to replace Cameron as prime minister.