Outraged at the result of the 2016 Referendum, they loathe the Prime Minister for his role as the triumphant figurehead of the independence campaign. In the wake of the furore over Downing Street’s lockdown parties, they have seized on the chance to bring him down and thereby overturn Brexit.
Indeed, this objective was explicitly spelt out yesterday by the Labour peer and pro-EU zealot Lord Adonis, who tweeted: “If Boris goes, Brexit goes too.”
Personal revenge and political reversal infuse the mission of the pro-EU brigade, most of whom can barely conceal their excitement at the crisis engulfing Number 10.
The former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, a passionate supporter of the Brussels empire, has taken to calling Johnson “the Brexit charlatan”.
It is telling that the small number of Conservative MPs who have called on Johnson to resign include several leading pro- Europeans, like Sir Roger Gale, and Caroline Nokes who even had the Tory whip withdrawn for rebelling against the Government’s Brexit plan.
This antagonism towards British self-rule extends right across the liberal establishment, including the broadcast media, which helps to explain some of the venom directed this week at the Prime Minister.
But he has played into his enemies’ hands with his foolish, hypocritical and cavalier behaviour.
Partygate has been a huge self-inflicted wound that has encapsulated some of his worst traits, notably his socially distanced relationship with the truth, his self-indulgent disorganisation and his disdain for the rules that his Government imposes on the public.
Since the new revelations have exploded, his response has only worsened the problem. In place of genuine contrition, he has stretched credulity and patience with his ridiculous pretence that he believed the Downing Street garden party was a “work event”.
This sophistry has been compounded by his cowardice in hiding behind the official investigation into the bulging catalogue of alleged lockdown offences by No 10 revellers.
What the public needs is honesty, not more excuse-making and buck-passing.
The tragedy is that Johnson, through his irresponsible conduct, is risking not only his own position but that of the entire independence project.
His downfall could reopen the whole European question. Especially if Labour, under arch-Remainer Sir Keir Starmer, get a massive boost from another round of Tory civil war.
Little more than two years ago, Johnson appeared to have secured his place in history with his delivery of Brexit and an 80-seat majority in the Commons.
Last May, he presided over an unprecedented Conservative victory in the former Labour heartland seat of Hartlepool.
Now, with Labour 10 points ahead in the polls and his own party divided, all his recent achievements are beginning to look vulnerable.
That is why Johnson has a duty to sharpen up his act dramatically. He can still survive, but only if he changes his ways.
That means issuing a real apology over partygate, reorganising the Downing Street machine and resolving the outstanding issues on Brexit.
The enemies of Brexit are itching for him to fail. He should not give them the satisfaction.