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Post Brexit Britain can become global tech powerhouse, says British FM

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-09-18 09:50

Post Brexit Britain can become global tech powerhouse, says British FM

The file photo shows vote Leave campaign leader Boris Johnson arrives to speak at the group's headquarters in London, Britain June 24, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Saturday people writing off Britain as it heads towards Brexit are making a grievous error.

In a commentary published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson launches an attack on critics.

"They are in grievous error, all those who write off this country, who think we don't have it in us, who think that we lack the nerve and the confidence to tackle the task ahead," said the politician.

"There are some people woefully underestimating this country, thinking. They Brexit isn't going to happen, 'who think we are going to bottle it'," he added.

He predicted Britain will succeed in its new national enterprise, adding: "and will succeed mightily".

Johnson said Brexit is Britain's chance to catch the wave of new technology, and to put the country in the lead as a "tech powerhouse" as one of four big tech investment areas of the world.

"In 10 years', 20 years' time, when we consider the arc of history comprised by our 45 years of EU membership, we will have a better and fairer comprehension of these events, why the British people wanted to join and why, eventually and sometimes regretfully, they wanted to leave (the EU)."

Johnson said if Britain itself had been asked to design the EU on a blank sheet of paper, there would be nothing like the body that exists today.

"This country still has chronic problems, and at least some of them have been exacerbated by the rigidities of EU membership."

Looking to the future, Johnson said Britain would not expect to pay for access to EU markets any more than the EU would expect to pay for access to British markets.

"Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly 350 million pounds (475 million U.S. dollars)per week. It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS, provided we use that cash injection to modernise and make the most of new technology."

Johnson's commentary comes just days before British Prime Minister Theresa May visits Florence where she will set out how Britain wants a special partnership with the EU after Brexit.

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