BORIS Johnson has compared the European Union’s efforts to create a superstate to Hitler's attempt to dominate the continent in a controversial new statement.
The former Mayor of London said history teaches us that any such attempts to create a unified supranational body have always been doomed to failure.
Mr Johnson said the last 2,000 years of European history have seen multiple efforts to invoke the “golden age” of the Roman Empire, but none have been successful.
He said: “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.
“But fundamentally what is lacking is the eternal problem, which is that there is no underlying loyalty to the idea of Europe.
“There is no single authority that anybody respects or understands. That is causing this massive democratic void.”
His statement comes as Ukip boss Nigel Farage controversially declared that he was “a Boris fan” and left the door open to potentially working with the leading Tory at some point in the future if the Brexit campaign is successful.
But former Labour cabinet member Yvette Cooper branded Boris’ latest offering “divisive” and criticised it as a blatant attempt to grab headlines.
She said: “The more he [Johnson] flails around with this kind of hysterical claim, the more he exposes his shameful lack of judgement, his willingness to play the most divisive cynical politics, and the emptiness of his arguments.
“He should not try to play political games with the darkest and most sinister chapter of Europe's history.”
It is not the first time Mr Johnson has invoked Hitler when discussing his political opponents.
In 2014, the Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP compared Tony Blair’s speech techniques to the German despot in a book about Winston Churchill.
He wrote: "Look at Hitler, if you can bear it, and see his hypnotic quality. First the long, excruciating pause before he speaks; and then see how he begins so softly — with his arms folded — and how he uncoils them as his voice starts to rise, and then the awful jabbing fluidity of his gestures, perfectly timed to intensify the crescendos of his speech.
"Listen to the way he brings them [the audience] all to their collective climax: with short verbless phrases – grammatically meaningless, but full of suggestive power. It was to become a highly influential technique, copied, among others, by Tony Blair."
His latest outburst is a notable step-up in rhetoric as the June 23 EU In/Out Referendum fast approaches.