Boris Johnson dodges Brexit in UN speech on technology

Boris Johnson has largely avoided Brexit during the final speech of his visit to the United Nations, making mention of it only in an allusion to the Greek myth of Prometheus.

Referring to how the Titan’s liver was pecked out by an eagle, Mr Johnson said: “And this went on forever.”

“A bit like the experience of Brexit in the UK, if some of our Parliamentarians had their way,” he added, to laughter from London’s UN ambassador Karen Pierce.

The PM gave a wide-ranging address in which he praised Britain’s scientific advances but warned against the perils of technology, including “pink-eyed terminators” in a future where “there may be nowhere to hide”.

He said: “Above all, we need to agree a common set of global principles to shape the norms and standards that will guide the development of emerging technology.”

He also extended an invitation to those gathered in the room.

“So – here’s the good news – I invite you next year to a summit in London,” he said, before praising the city for having “the biggest tech anywhere in Europe, perhaps half a million people working in tech alone”.

“I hope you will come there, where we will seek to assemble the broadest possible coalition to take forward this vital task.”

It was not clear if Mr Johnson was referring to London Tech Week, which began in 2014 and takes place each June, or a new event.

Neither Downing Street nor the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport were able to provide clarification.

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