The British Embassy in Thailand on Friday clarified what the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson “said” about Thailand in his recent speech in London concerning Brexit.
According to the Embassy, Johnson, who recently visited Bangkok, said: “… I have just discovered we have more than a million people who go to Thailand every year, where our superb consular services deal with some of the things that they get up to there.”
The Embassy insisted that there he made no mention of sex tourism. “The focus was on the provision of consular services to our approximately 60,000 British residents in Thailand and approximately 1 million British visitors each year who mostly have a fantastic time in Thailand.”
His speech was reportedly designed to woo “Remainers”, as those who would prefer that the UK stays in the European Union are called, but was criticised after the British media quoted him as saying “As I have just discovered we have more than a million who go to Thailand every year, where according to our superb consular services they get up to the most eye-popping things.”
Some UK politicians have urged him to resign.
The controversial comments about Thailand however were included in a written copy of his speech issued to journalists beforehand, TheNational.Scot online reported.
His actual speech toned down the “joke” slightly – “where our superb consular services deal with some of the things they get up to there”.
Th Embassy also said the Foreign Secretary’s visit on February 12 deepened and strengthened UKThailand ties not just at the government to government level through his meeting with Thai PM and the foreign minister where they discussed regional issues and he encouraged swift progress towards democratic elections in Thailand.
“But also at the people to people level through wideranging discussions covering cooperation on education, the digital economy, science and innovation, financial technology, and trade and investment, as well as further cooperation to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade.”