Senior European Union officials are reportedly “shocked” at how bad Britain’s diplomatic efforts have been since the country voted for Brexit in June, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in particular, drawing the ire of European ambassadors.
Things are so bad that one European ambassador says Johnson now has “no credibility” with other senior diplomats within the 28 nation bloc, and is harming Britain’s chances of achieving a successful Brexit.
“Johnson has no credibility with the ambassadors – they don’t care what he says,” the unnamed EU ambassador told Sky News.
The allegations against Johnson come after it emerged that Johnson has privately told numerous ambassadors that he supports the freedom of movement of EU citizens after Brexit, despite that being in opposition to official government policy. Sky News’ Robert Nisbett broke the news on Wednesday evening.
“Boris Johnson told us he was personally in favour of it, but he said that Britain had been more affected by free movement of people than other EU member states,” one ambassador told Sky.
Another said that Johnson acknowledged that free movement isn’t government policy, but said he supports it as it “corresponds to his own beliefs.”
Johnson reportedly made the comments to the ambassadors of several unnamed EU countries during a lunch earlier this week, and spoke surprisingly openly about his beliefs.
To make things even worse, this is not even close to the first time that Johnson has faced criticism for his supposed incompetence, and flip-flopping. Just eight days ago,
Just eight days ago, Johnson’s actions were called “unbelievable” by
EU parliamentarian Manfred Weber, who said that he had lost respect for the foreign secretary over contradictory statements he has made about Turkey.
Johnson argued during the Leave campaign that one of the reasons Brits should vote for Brexit is to avoid being part of a Union that would soon include Turkey, but in September said he would back Turkey’s bid for EU membership.
“This is no longer amusing. It is serious stuff,” a European ambassador told the Times.
In mid-November, Italian minister Carlo Calenda said he felt insulted by Johnson after the Tory MP suggested Italy should push for Britain to remain in the European Single Market otherwise it would be forced to sell less prosecco. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Johnson’s German counterpart, told colleagues that he couldn’t stand to be in the same room as the British minister, according to a Financial Times report.
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