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Boris Johnson Urges Britain To End 'Discrimination' Against Australians

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BORIS JOHNSON
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday July 25. File photo dated 04/11/10 of London mayor Boris Johnson who could soon be sharing the political stage with theatrical performers after a new report recommended under-threat theatres be allowed to rehearse and put on plays at his City Hall HQ. | PA

Boris Johnson has called for Britain to end its "discrimination" against Australians and other citizens of Commonwealth countries by "looking beyond Europe" and setting up a bilateral Free Labour Mobility Zone.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, the mayor of London said it was time to "forge links with countries that are going to be growing in the decades ahead", after describing the EU as a "microclimate of economic gloom".

Johnson says the idea came to him after reading a letter from a teacher called Sally Roycroft in Australia who was told to "bog off" by the British authorities, because it was too much of a palaver to go through the business of “sponsoring” her to stay.

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"It is outrageous and indefensible that Sally Roycroft is deprived of a freedom that we legally confer on every French person," he writes.

"I suppose there might be some objection from the EU – but they should be told firmly to stuff it. There is already variable geometry in EU border control arrangements."

Boris Johnson spent last week touring Australia, and appeared as a keynote speaker at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

However his most notable stunt during the trip was to accidentally break the law, after cycling around the city without a helmet - a compulsory measure in Australia.

"I didn't see the sign," the Herald Sun quoted him as saying, after he was caught out. "I hope we will be all right with the authorities."

Johnson used the fiasco to call on Melbourne to change its attitude to wearing helmets, saying that enforcing head protection worked against encouraging people to cycle.

"Obviously, it's up to Melbourne to decide what they want to do, but we took a very clear decision that it would be counterproductive," he said.

The mayor also managed to make waves in the Aussie outback after kissing a baby crocodile named after the new royal prince, and suggested Prince William travel out to visit the scaly creature.