- The UK’s former ambassador to the US has said that Boris Johnson is using tactics which are “like Donald Trump”
- It came after Johnson’s government this week admitted that their latest attempts to negotiate a deal with the EU break international law.
- Trump told Theresa May, who Johnson replaced as prime minister last year, that she should attempt to sue the EU in order to secure a favourable deal with Brussels.
- “There is something about the negotiating style of this British government, especially in their handling of post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union, which looks a bit like Donald Trump’s negotiating style,” he said.
- Trump, who is fond of talking about his own bullish negotiating tactics in business and politics, told Theresa May, the former prime minister, that she should attempt to sue the EU in order to secure a favourable post-Brexit deal.
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The UK’s former ambassador to the US has said that Boris Johnson is using tactics which are “a bit like Donald Trump” after his government this week admitted that their latest attempts to negotiate a deal with the EU break international law.
Johnson has faced intense criticism this week for threatening to undermine the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement which was signed by the UK and EU in December last year. Ministers have admitted that the move, which would see the EU renege on parts of the agreement which relate to Northern Ireland, is illegal under international law, which has caused outrage in Brussels.
Speaking on Thursday, Darroch — who is promoting a book about his time spent in Washington before his dramatic resignation last year — said that Johnson was taking a Trump-like approach towards negotiations with the EU.
“There is something about the negotiating style of this British government, especially in their handling of post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union, which looks a bit like Donald Trump’s negotiating style,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
“Only Boris Johnson knows if he would have done that anyway, or if it reflects Trump’s style in some way.”
Trump is fond of talking about his own bullish negotiating tactics in business and politics, and told Theresa May — who Johnson replaced as prime minister last year — that she should attempt to sue the EU in order to secure a favourable post-Brexit deal.
Darroch went on to describe Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis’s admission in the Commons this week that the government was breaking international law — albeit in “in a specific and limited way” — as “a quite extraordinary moment.”
“In 40 years in the Foreign Service and government, I can’t recall anything like it,” he said.
“We’ve always as a country — one of our calling cards, one of our principles — has been to stand by international law. We criticise other countries when they breach it. So to actually assert that we are going to breach international law is an extraordinary and I think deeply regrettable thing.”
Darroch left his post in Washington in July 2019 after an explosive leak of diplomatic cables he had written to London.
The cables, published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper,characterised President Trump’s administration as “uniquely dysfunctional” and as “clumsy inept.” The leak prompted Trump to call Darroch a “stupid guy” and a “pompous fool,” prompting Darroch to resign.
In an interview with BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, Darroch said he did not regret the terms in which he had described the president’s administration, saying it was the job of diplomats to report the truth.
“I never regret the terms in which I’d reported,” he said. “I spent 40 years in the Foreign Office writing in these terms and people hitherto had thought it a strength and an asset.”
“There is nothing unusual in reporting in clear and direct terms. Wikileaks shows American diplomats reporting in direct terms and the US embassy was reporting directly about how the UK government was handling Brexit.”
Boris Johnson, who was running for the Conservative leadership at the time Darroch resigned, faced strong criticism for failing to say the ambassador should remain in his post. Darroch said it would have been “nice” for the likely next prime minister to support him.
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