Brussels terrified of Boris Johnson claims Brexit minister – ‘formidable opponent’

Kwasi Kwarteng told host Mark Urban that the favourite to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister will be able to “shift the dynamic of this Brexit issue”. Mr Urban grilled the Brexit minister who supports Mr Johnson’s leadership bid over whether Brussels “respects” him. Mr Kwarteng explained it’s not necessary for EU officials to like him.

Mr Urban said: “They don’t like him in Brussels, do they?

“That much is clear from over the past three years.

“They see him along with Nigel Farage as people who as Donald Tusk put it have a ‘special place in hell’ because they led the British people into Brexit without having a plan.”

Mr Kwarteng said: “In a negotiation it’s not necessary to like the opposing team.

“In fact, I would argue that it would be not very effective to have people around the table who are friends.

“I think that’s probably one of the problems we’ve had in the last two years.

Mark Urban asked: “Do you think they respect him?”

Mr Kwarteng added: “I think they regard him as a formidable political opponent.

“He is someone after all who led the referendum campaign.

“Obviously they were very frustrated with the outcome of that. They were disappointed.

“But Boris is a known quantity, he’s an effective negotiator.

“He’s an effective leader. He is an effective communicator as well and I think he will shift the dynamic of this Brexit issue.”

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