Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by Anne Applebaum:
Round about the same time, I went out to dinner with Johnson and a couple of other people, and we would up talking about a possible referendum on British membership in the EU, which was then in the air. “Nobody serious wants to leave the EU,” he said. “Business doesn’t want it. The City [London’s financial district] doesn’t want it. It won’t happen.” This was how he spoke when he was the liberal mayor of a great, modern, multicultural British city, one that flourished thanks to its deep connections to the outside world.
Nevertheless, he chose Brexit in the referendum campaign. And he supported Brexit with the same sunny insouciance, and the same disregard for consequences, that he had long demonstrated in his journalism and his personal life. He went on telling jokes and stories. He calculated that Brexit would lose. He texted David Cameron, the prime minister: “Brexit will be crushed like a toad under the harrow.” But supporting it would, he thought, make him a hero among he Euroseptic Tories whom his writing had done so much to cultivate. And in a sense, his calculation came out right, though perhaps not in the way he expected.