Johnson’s high-wire act at the G7 summit


After the experience, the had to make Boris Johnson during his Visits to Berlin and Paris, waiting for another Dose of political reality on him: at the G7 summit in the French seaside resort of Biarritz.

In terms of Brexit Boris Johnson brought his visits in Berlin and Paris, at home, a political crisis is brewing, and the G7 summit will provide the new British Prime no time for a breather. Boris Johnson’s foreign policy with the baptism of fire has driven him into increasing Isolation. Debt is the new distance to European partners, but also the temptation, to bind the UK close to the USA – with all the risks that brings is.

“He’s stuck in Brexit negotiations, the main Element of his relations with France and Germany. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has a match in the past few years, positions – on Iran, on climate change, international trade, Russia – taken, which is very durable with those of the European allies. Somehow he must reach so that the atmosphere is right,” says Thomas Raines, head of the European programme of the London think-tank Chatham House and a former employee of the strategy Department of the British foreign Ministry.

The prospect of waning influence in Europe, the United Kingdom, elsewhere for new friends around forcing, especially on the other side of the pond, in the Person of U.S. President Donald Trump. Now Outwardly can deceive, but both Trump and Johnson, show a tendency to short-term, populist decisions with little regard for the possible consequences. In the current political climate, this sort of narcissism may be particularly harmful.

Policy in facial expressions: Boris Johnson and the French President, Emmanuel Macron

“During a G7 summit at the European countries in General, try to find a common Position and to form a kind of European unity; but that’s over now. Johnson and Trump together to compete against some European States,” says Claudia Schmucker, head of program, globalization and the world economy of the German society for Foreign policy.

At the end of a special friendship

Shortly after Johnson took office as Prime Minister, Donald Trump called him-literally, “Britain-Trump” and raved about how wonderful their partnership would be.

But therein lies the Problem. For Trump someone is only as long as his best friend, as he (or she) does exactly what it wants to Trump. And although Johnson and Trump evoke the impression as if they were on a line, there are a whole range of international questions where the United Kingdom and the United States are of a different opinion. In fact, the United Kingdom, from climate change to nuclear contract with Iran is very much in line with Europe. That puts it in an uncomfortable position.

The traditional role of the British bridge-Builder between American and continental European views, has done so as good as. This is partly due to Johnson’s poor performance during his time as foreign Minister, have made him among his European colleagues are currently popular, on the other hand, the US-American unilateralism, the European positions difficult to reconcile.

“Everyone teamed up once again with Trump together to achieve something of him, found himself at the end as a Damaged back. Johnson’s predecessor as Prime Minister, Theresa May, was initially a great effort to create a good relationship with Trump. In their first trip to the USA, you held back with criticism of the President, although he said incredibly undiplomatic things. And in the end he had taken them politically completely apart. At Johnson’s, I would be quite careful and would give me no illusions about what is achievable. Things can develop suddenly, very surprisingly, when Donald it Trump would consider it differently,” said Thomas Raines in the DW-interview.

More distance than an arm’s length: Donald Trump and Theresa May in June 2019

In short, do not hate Trump multilateralism, negotiations and diplomacy with more than one Partner, which is why he also likes the EU and its common market, and in Johnson a natural ally sees.

“He has a very strange relationship with the EU. He wants to prove that he can make to the exit, he thinks is a very good idea, close relations with great Britain. Unfortunately, Britain is currently not at all in the situation, negotiations on a free trade agreement. In addition, there is also in Congress, especially the Democrats, opposition to a Deal if he includes a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Trump does not understand even what it is. What he wants is a free trade agreement that would be reached in its conception of the world in two days,” said Claudia Schmucker of the German society for Foreign policy to the DW.

Political Artistry

Ultimately, it is a political high-wire act, if Johnson is not trying to irritate Trump, if he fails in certain issues on the side of the Europeans, on the other hand, but not too closely with Trump wants to appear in many questions in a world of political strays.

“In a sense, Johnson is in this kind of political Gymnastics better than most of his colleagues; he makes the impression to be everyone’s friend. I just don’t think this number is still very credible, especially on the side of the Europeans,” said Raines of the DW. “The idea of a No-Deal-Brexit, it is advantageous to be able to say that with the United States, these other major economy, with which we are immediately after the exit from the EU, a Deal can complete. But the political obstacles to a comprehensive agreement with the United States on both sides are pretty solid.”

At a political summit, symbols are often more important than concrete results; and as long as he is allowed no derailment – what you should not rely on necessarily -could be the G7 summit in Johnson will offer the Chance for a Prime Minister to make an impression. If he succeeds, believes Raines, could Johnson recorded the Meeting in fact, on its political side.