Politics

May handed Brexit ‘victory’ to Europe: Johnson

Hardline Brexiteer Boris Johnson hasn’t stayed quiet in the months after his resignation as Britain’s foreign secretary. And his latest scathing criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May is fueling speculation he will eventually mount a leadership challenge. Will James and Matthew Larotonda report.

ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (REUTERS / UK POOL / PARLIAMENT TV) – The man that some see as the biggest threat to Theresa May’s hold as British prime minister is again beating his drum over her Brexit strategy.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:

“Go on, have a cup of tea.”

Boris Johnson has a reputation for being plainspoken.

And, he’s now comparing the negotiating plan that led to his resignation as May’s foreign minister to entering battle under a “white flag” of surrender to the EU.

Many interpret his latest Daily Telegraph column as more proof that the hardline Brexiteer may be preparing to mount a leadership challenge.

Reuters political correspondent Will James:

REUTERS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT WILL JAMES,

“The stakes are especially high for the prime minister at the moment because Brexit is so close. It’s less than seven months away now and that means that everything that is undecided that’s putting pressure upon her position has to be decided within a very short space of time. The question is what are the terms of that departure and, of course, will she still be in charge when we do.”

Johnson’s regular columns have kept him in the public eye.

This one was timed to coincide with parliament’s return from summer recess this week.

Downing Street issued a rebuttal claiming the strategy the party adopted was the only credible one out there.

The public acknowledgment of Johnson’s attack may be evidence of how legitimate a threat he and other party rebels are.

The European Union isn’t happy with Prime Minister May either.

REUTERS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT WILL JAMES,

“If you’re on the European Commission’s side, what they see is Britain trying to cherrypick access to the single market — the best bits of the single market. That’s something that if they let Britain do that, who else is going to ask next? So for Theresa May she’s really plotted a path inbetween those two factions and is now feeling the force of their anger on both sides.”

But for Brussels May’s departure could be disastrous.

Johnson’s on record as suggesting the UK should negotiate more like Donald Trump.

And Trump, he said, would “go in bloody hard.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.