Foreign Policy

Johnson Cancels Meeting With Trump After Angry Phone Call

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump and Johnson bromance may be over if this is any indication.

Trump and his cabinet lackeys spent most of the last year pressuring the British and other European governments to ban Chinese-owned telecommunications company Huawei from their next general of networks, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently decided to forgo Trump's demands and allowed Huawei to operate in the country with some restrictions that will prevent the company from installing equipment in critical infrastructure like nuclear power pants.

I would say those are reasonable restrictions, but Trump doesn't agree. Trump called Johnson to complain about his decision not to ban Huawei, but this was not a "perfect call" like the one he placed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump's behavior during his conversation with Johnson was "apoplectic" according to the Financial Times.

Boris Johnson has now canceled his upcoming meeting with Trump.

(Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has postponed a trip to the United States to meet U.S. President Donald Trump so he can stay at home to focus on delivering his domestic agenda, the Sun newspaper reported late on Thursday. [...]

Johnson was expected to visit Washington early this year. This has now been postponed until June when a summit of G7 leaders is due, according to the newspaper.

I think saying you're staying home to focus on delivering your domestic agenda is just a diplomatic way of telling Trump to get fucked, but I digress.

The chances that Britain and the Trump regime would sign a trade deal this year were never high as Britain has to negotiate their way out of European customs union or "single market" first, but this places it even further out of reach.

This won't stop members of either regime from negotiating on the sidelines, but Johnson seems to have judged that meeting with Trump right now would not be productive or worthwhile. That suggests that Johnson does not believe there will be anything worth discussing with Trump in person in the first half of the year. That means no trade deal.

And now I find myself in the awkward position of observing that Boris Johnson, for all his faults and bad policy positions and bad hair, is still more of a professional statesman than Trump will ever be.

  • muselet

    Reports are that Donald Trump slammed down the phone on Boris Johnson. “Apoplectic” might not be hyperbole in this case.

    It’s possible Johnson wasn’t in a mood to play nice with Trump because his carefully-planned smooth, “boring” cabinet reshuffle hit the rocks on Thursday, with Sajid Javid resigning as Chancellor of the Exchequer. It’s not the end of the world, but it made Johnson’s grasp on power seem a bit more tenuous than it was on Wednesday.

    Ashby, be fair. Shakes the Clown was a more professional statesman than Trump.


  • that will prevent the company from installing equipment in critical infrastructure like nuclear power pants

    Man, I wish we had nuclear power pants! Thanks, Trump.


    I love fun typos like that. Brightened my afternoon.

  • Nefercat

    Apparently Johnson didn’t get the message that since trump was acquitted, it means he’s king of the world and everyone on the planet has to do his bidding or else.

    Those silly foreigners with their bizarre notions about being sovereign nations!