Boris Johnson makes "jibes" about Merkel, Macron, and Varadkar
Boris Johnson, who is likely to become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, reportedly said of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Why isn’t he called Murphy like all the rest of them?”
It wasn’t just Taoiseach Varadkar who Johnson has uttered questionable comments about. Philip Stephens, writing for The Irish Times, said: "At the Foreign Office he [Johnson] was heard to muse as to whether Chancellor Angela Merkel had served in East Germany’s Stasi secret police. French president Emmanuel Macron was a “jumped-up Napoleon”. As for Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, 'Why isn’t he called Murphy like all the rest of them.'"
“Such jibes find a way back to foreign capitals,” Stephens notes of Johnson, who is reportedly planning a European tour of Paris, Berlin, and Dublin should he become Prime Minister.
Johnson’s comments come not only as he is poised to assume the highest political role in the UK, but also as Brexit spirals into further uncertainty.
Brexit, which has officially been delayed twice this year, still does not have an agreed-upon plan of action in place. The UK is due to formally exit the European Union on October 31 this year, but the issue of the backstop between Northern Ireland, a member of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, remains the most glaring point of contention.
Stephens adds that Johnson is hoping "to persuade Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron into bullying Mr. Varadkar simply to drop Ireland’s insistence on the backstop."
Johnson appears to have no qualms about removing the backstop altogether, which could lead to a hard border between the North and The Republic.
"It needs to come out," Johnson said of the backstop during a recent debate.
He added that the UK must say "no to time limits or unilateral escape hatches or all those kind of elaborate devices, glosses, codicils and so on that you could apply to the backstop.”
What do you make of Johnson's comments about Varadkar? Let us know in the comments