May Lets Johnson Off Hook (Again) Over Criticism of Brexit Plan

(Bloomberg) -- Theresa May brushed off the latest ill-timed intervention from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who suggested in leaked comments that U.S. President Donald Trump would do a better job than the prime minister at negotiating Brexit.

“The foreign secretary has strong views on Brexit, but so do I,” May told reporters Friday in Canada, where she is attending a Group of Seven summit. She repeatedly declined to answer questions on whether Johnson should be sacked or if his remarks indicated that the “tail is wagging the dog.”

In secretly taped remarks at a dinner on Wednesday that were leaked to BuzzFeed, Johnson attacked May’s strategy for leaving the European Union and predicted there “may now be a meltdown” in negotiations, and called on the prime minister to adopt tougher tactics akin to Trump’s style.

“Imagine Trump doing Brexit,” Johnson said, according to the recording. “He’d go in bloody hard. There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. It’s a very, very good thought.”

It’s just the latest example of Johnson’s tendency for loose talk. Since being appointed the U.K.’s top diplomat, he has warned the French against acting like war movie Nazis and made comments that risked landing a British mother being held in Iran with a longer jail sentence.

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