In the words of Daughter/Wife Unwanted Ivanka:
“Congratulations @BorisJohnson on becoming the next Prime Minister of the United Kingston.” Yeah, she tweeted that.
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday commended Boris Johnson for his election as leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party, predicting that the former London mayor and foreign secretary will bring a bit of “Britain Trump” to Downing Street as the country’s next prime minister.
“We have a really good man. He’s going to be the prime minister of the U.K. now, Boris Johnson,” Trump told the crowd at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit in Washington.
“Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying ‘Britain Trump.’ They call him ‘Britain Trump,’ and there’s people saying that’s a good thing,” the president continued.
Do Europeans agree? From POLITICO:
[A]fter building a political persona over decades based on caricaturing Europeans as humorless rubes, [Boris] Johnson may soon discover that the targets of his comedy can’t see beyond the joke.
After years of laughing at him, Europeans simply don’t take Johnson seriously. At this stage, it’s difficult to imagine what could change their minds.
While Europeans may take delight in lampooning Donald Trump, they also respect (and fear) the power of his office. Whether they like it or not (and most don’t), Trump has considerable leverage over Europe, both in terms of the economy and security.
But no one’s afraid of Johnson.
Though the U.K. remains a key strategic player within Europe, that reliance cuts across both sides of the Channel. Following the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran last week, for example, the U.K. responded by calling for a European naval force to protect sea routes in the Strait of Hormuz.
When it comes to the economy, the U.K. is far more dependent on the EU than vice versa.
That’s why Europe’s response to Johnson’s threat to leave the EU come what may on October 31, deal or no deal, has been a polite yawn.
If anything, Johnson’s election as prime minister will make it easier for EU leaders to stick to their guns by refusing to budge on the terms of the deal they negotiated with Theresa May, his predecessor. Whatever her shortcomings as a prime minister, May, unlike Johnson, enjoyed a reputation among European leaders as an honest broker.
Given the leading role Johnson played in the Brexit campaign and his continued taunting of the EU, European leaders don’t just distrust the new prime minister, many despise him.
The danger of Johnson’s credibility gap is that it could prompt EU leaders to underestimate his willingness to drive Britain off the Brexit cliff, triggering a potentially catastrophic chain reaction.