Reactions pouring in from politicians round Europe give a predictably blended response to the resignation announcement of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“The departure of Boris Johnson opens a brand new web page in relations with the UK,” tweeted Michel Barnier, the EU’s former Brexit negotiator. “Could or not it’s extra constructive, extra respectful of commitments made, particularly relating to peace & stability in NI [Northern Ireland], and extra pleasant with companions within the EU.”
Behind the scenes, EU diplomats had been extra direct.
“Typical Boris. Stuffed with shit,” stated one in response to Johnson’s speech asserting the resignation Thursday and lauding his achievements — together with Brexit.
Johnson made few pals within the EU following his main function within the 2016 Brexit marketing campaign and confrontational method since taking workplace in 2019, notably over the Northern Eire protocol regulating the Irish border post-Brexit. Many within the EU are clearly relieved to see the again of him.
“I feel everyone has … had the identical kind of unusual Schadenfreude feeling about it. It’s been very entertaining,” the EU diplomat stated of Johnson’s more and more determined wrestle to cling to energy over the previous few days. “We’re pleased to see him gone … It’s troublesome to see how issues may very well be worse than they had been underneath Boris Johnson.”
Rigorously avoiding outright criticism of Johnson, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin steered his exit would open the best way to raised relations and strengthen the North Eire peace settlement.
“We didn’t at all times agree, and the connection between our Governments has been strained and challenged in latest instances,” he stated. “We’ve now a chance to return to the true spirit of partnership and mutual respect that’s wanted to underpin the positive factors of the Good Friday Settlement.”
The European Fee declined to touch upon the specifics of his resignation. “The political developments don’t change our place on the protocol,” spokesperson Daniel Ferrie instructed reporters in Brussels.
Nonetheless, influential German MEP Bernd Lange welcomed the prospect of a much less “egomaniacal” method to EU-U.Okay. relations.
“I feel it’s actually liberating,” stated Lange, who sits on the European Parliament’s EU-U.Okay. contact group. “Solely what strengthened him domestically was essential to him, and that after all had a damaging influence on relations with the European Union. That was very egomaniacal.”
One European chief much less pleased to see Johnson go is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He has warmly thanked Johnson for stalwart assist following Russia’s invasion, together with army assist and a go to to Kyiv early within the battle.
“He was a real pal of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy instructed CNN Thursday. “He completely supported Ukraine.”
Zelenskyy expressed confidence, nonetheless, that British assist for his nation would proceed undiminished. “The U.Okay. is on the best facet of historical past,” he stated. “I’m certain the coverage of the UK towards Ukraine is not going to be altering.”
In distinction, the Kremlin gloated. “He doesn’t like us, we don’t like him both,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was reported as saying in Moscow. “We want to hope that sometime in Nice Britain extra skilled individuals who could make choices by way of dialogue will come to energy.”