It’s not hard to discern the similarities between President Donald Trump, who is visiting the U.K. this week following the NATO summit, and Boris Johnson, who resigned as the U.K. foreign secretary on Monday. The two share an affinity for offensive language and alienating their colleagues, and a casual disregard for the facts, among other traits. They also appear to share a mutual affection—Johnson, who quit because of the apparent belief that Prime Minister Theresa May was not pursuing a hard enough version of Brexit, reportedly mused at a private dinner: “Imagine Trump doing Brexit. He’d go in bloody hard … There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. It’s a very, very good thought.” Trump, for his part, called Johnson a “friend” earlier this week, and said he might meet with him while he is in the U.K.
Which would be a little odd, since Johnson is no longer in charge of the U.K.’s foreign policy. Indeed, his short tenure as the U.K. foreign secretary, characterized more by gaffes than by major accomplishments, is an apt reflection of the diminished state of the U.K. on the global stage. Trump’s visit, coming so soon after a contentious meeting of America’s traditional allies, serves to highlight the chaos that has characterized the politics of post-Brexit Britain and helped weaken its international standing. Johnson, as a champion of Brexit and an ineffectual foreign secretary, is emblematic of that process.