British FM accused of Brexit ‘backseat driving’
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.”