EUROPEAN Union leaders are debating over the consequences of Boris Johnson winning the Tory leadership contest following Theresa May’s expected departure this summer in the same way they were worried about Donald Trump getting in office in 2016, BBC’s Katya Adler has revealed.
Speaking on Brexitcast, the BBC Europe Editor claimed the news Boris Johnson will be running for leadership of the Conservative Party after it was confirmed Theresa May will leave the post this summer, after delivering on the first phase of the Brexit negotiations, has sparked a series of debates in Brussels on the type of Prime Minister the former Foreign Secretary would be. Dr Adler claimed the worry is comparable to that European leaders had ahead of Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency of the United States. She said: “It’s a huge deal in Brussels and the rest of Europe.
“Because it’s already making them think ‘Is it going to be Prime Minister Boris?’
“And it’s a bit like – and I’m not saying Boris is Trump, of course – but what I’m saying is just as before Donald Trump actually became President the debate was ‘will he be stump Trump in office or will he be more pragmatic Trump in office?’.
“And there are similar debates going on about Boris Johnson in European circles.”
The former Cabinet Minister announced on Thursday he would “of course” run for the leadership once the vacancy in Number 10 will be officially open.
Speaking before Katya Adler, BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg claimed the announcement was not a surprise but it was still very “significant”.
She said: “Things that have seemed inevitable to journalists and people following this closely and to Brexitcasters, it doesn’t mean they’re not significant.
“So Boris Johnson finally in the open saying there obviously isn’t a vacancy but he will run for the job.
“And because of the way the political dynamics have been moving and because of the, as it seems at the moment, popularity of the Brexit Party we’ll see at the European elections, this is all very fluid.
“But at the moment, having been in the doldrums many months ago Boris Johnson is now talked about by people as inevitably been one of the final two on the ballot.
“I’m not making a prediction that’s what’s going to happen, but there is a pretty widespread assumption that he is the candidate to beat.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will step down before the next phase of Brexit negotiations although she has not yet put a date on her departure.
The former Foreign Secretary reesigned from the cabinet in July in protest at her handling of the exit negotiations.
Boris Johnson, regarded by many eurosceptics as the face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, set out his pitch to the membership in a speech at the party’s annual conference in October – some members queued for hours to get a seat.
He called on the party to return to its traditional values of low tax and strong policing.