British foreign secretary Boris Johnson wrote a newspaper column backing staying in the EU, just days before revealing he would be campaigning for Brexit.

 

Now being criticised for indecisiveness, it has emerged Mr Johnson wrote a letter backing the Remain camp only 48 hours before he shocked then Prime Minister David Cameron with his decision to call for a divorce from Europe.

 

Mr Johnson is now one of the most outspoken backers of a “hard Brexit,” saying that the UK can do a deal which will be of much greater value to its economy than trying to stay in the EU single market.

 

But in the pro-EU article, which has now been published by The Sunday Times, he gave the opposite viewpoint, saying that leaving would cause not just an “economic shock,” for the country but that it could lead to the break-up of the UK itself.

 

In the column, he says: “Shut your eyes. Hold your breath. Think of Britain. Think of the rest of the EU. Think of the future.”

 

However, Mr Johnson says he wrote two columns in a bid to make up his own mind.

 

He explained: “Everybody was trying to make up their minds about whether or not to leave the European Union and it is perfectly true that back in February I was wrestling with it.”

 

Mr Johnson added: “I wrote a long piece which came down overwhelmingly in favour of leaving. I then thought I better see if I can make the alternative case for myself so I then wrote a sort of semi-parodic article in the opposite sense, which has mysteriously found its way into the paper this morning because I think I might have sent it to a friend.”

 

He said he then put both articles together and it was “blindingly obvious” what the right thing to do was.

 

The Foreign Secretary said the people of Britain had made the right decision to leave the EU, adding: “That is what we’re going to do and we’re going to make a great success of it.”

 

Since the vote to leave, in June, sterling has fallen to historic lows, losing around 18 per cent of its value against the dollar.

 

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she will be pushing for a second referendum on Scottish independence if the UK does leave the European single market.