European politicians say defeating Boris Johnson would be ‘good news’ for the bloc – POLITICO
There is one parliament where there are not many Boris Johnson supporters – fortunately for the British Prime Minister, it is the European Parliament.
The news that Johnson faces a vote of confidence from his own Conservative Party MPs on Monday night was met with mixed feelings in the European legislature. He doesn’t have many fans there, but there are fears that any replacement in the unlikely event he is ousted would be an even tougher partner for the EU.
“Johnson’s departure would be good news for anyone who cares about EU-UK relations,” said Jeroen Lenaers, Dutch MEP from the European People’s Party and member of the EU Partnership Parliamentary Assembly. -UK.
However, Lenaers also warned: “We don’t know who would replace him, and it could be better or worse.”
While Brussels has not been concerned about the Partygate scandal that prompted Monday’s vote – a reaction to rallies organized by government and Conservative Party staff during the COVID lockdown – there is more concern about to how pro-Brexit Johnson threatened to break the Northern Ireland Protocol — the international treaty that avoids a border on the island of Ireland by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market .
“I saw a British Prime Minister who was in deep trouble in his own country and tried to use Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol for his own political gain,” Lenaers said, adding: “He has makes very cheap political considerations for his own political gain.”
The European Commission has been more circumspect. A spokesman said the Commission, which oversees post-Brexit trade talks, would not comment on the results of Monday’s vote.
But Lenaers’ complaints were echoed by a Greens lawmaker.
“Boris Johnson has proven time and time again that he is not a reliable partner in negotiations with the EU,” said Terry Reintke, Vice-President of the Greens and also a member of the EU-UK assembly. “He undermined the confidence not only of international allies and friends, but above all of the British people”
Reintke added: “However the vote of no confidence ends up tonight, we need a fresh start for EU-UK relations.”
Johnson needs the support of 180 Tory MPs to stay in power – a bar he is likely to cross. If he is impeached, party MPs will choose a new leader and prime minister in a process that could take several weeks.
However, other European politicians preferred to play down the significance of Monday’s vote, arguing that it would have no real implications for the EU.
“What is happening in the UK is a palace revolution at the heart of the Conservative Party,” said Francois Alfonsi, Green MEP from France. “Johnson was not in favor of an acceptable compromise with Europe, but the responsibility lies mainly with the Conservative party and replacing him with another Conservative would not improve matters.”