Bri­tish FM ac­cused of Brexit ‘back­seat driv­ing’

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Britain’s For­eign Min­is­ter Boris John­son was ac­cused by cab­i­net col­leagues on Sun­day of “back­seat driv­ing” on Brexit af­ter set­ting out his own vi­sion of the coun­try’s fu­ture out­side the Euro­pean Union.

Only days be­fore Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May is due to speak in Italy about Britain’s planned EU de­par­ture, John­son on Satur­day pub­lished a 4,300-word news­pa­per ar­ti­cle that roamed well be­yond his min­is­te­rial brief and, in some cases, the ap­proach set out by the gov­ern­ment.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Am­ber Rudd said it was “ab­so­lutely fine” for the for­eign sec­re­tary to in­ter­vene pub­licly but that she did not want him man­ag­ing the Brexit process.

“What we’ve got is Theresa May man­ag­ing that process, she’s driv­ing the car,” Rudd told the BBC’s An­drew Marr on Sun­day. Asked if John­son was back­seat driv­ing, she replied, “Yes, you could call it back­seat driv­ing, ab­so­lutely.”

John­son’s ar­ti­cle re-ig­nited spec­u­la­tion that he would chal­lenge May for the lead­er­ship of the Con­ser­va­tive Party.

May’s deputy, Damian Green, also weighed in on Sun­day, say­ing that John­son had writ­ten a “very ex­u­ber­ant” ar­ti­cle but it is “ab­so­lutely clear to ev­ery­one that the driver of the car in this in­stance is the prime min­is­ter.”

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