Trump’s Defeat Weakens Boris Johnson in Urgent Brexit Talks
Few world leaders have felt the fallout of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory more quickly than Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson is in the final phases of trying to negotiate a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union, a complex challenge that just became more urgent with the defeat of his ally and ideological mate, President Donald Trump.
A failed negotiation with Brussels could stir up tensions between Johnson and Biden even before they get to know each other, because it would almost certainly reverberate badly in Ireland. Biden, who speaks often and fondly of his Irish roots, has already warned Johnson not to do anything in his trade negotiations that would threaten peace in Northern Ireland.
“The election completely changed the game,” said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at the political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group.
Unlike Trump, Biden opposed Brexit. He is not likely to make a trade deal with London as high a priority as Trump might have. And he has ruled out such a deal altogether if Britain does anything to water down the protections of Northern Ireland that are enshrined in the Withdrawal Agreement.
British newspapers have been full of stories in recent days raising alarm about the future of the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States, and musing about whether Johnson and Biden, who have yet to meet, are destined to be at odds.
After Johnson congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election, a former White House aide to Barack Obama, Tommy Vietor, said on Twitter, “This shapeshifting creep weighs in. We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump.”
In 2016, when Johnson was mayor of London, he noted that Obama had replaced a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office with one of Martin Luther King Jr. and attributed it to “the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire.” He also once likened Hillary Clinton to Lady Macbeth.
“The comments Boris Johnson has made about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are regarded as family in Biden-land, have not been forgotten, and can’t be brushed aside with a joke,” said Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to Washington. “The same goes for his bromance with Donald Trump.”
文／Mark Landler and Stephen Castle 譯／李京倫、核稿／樂慧生
change the game是「改變遊戲規則或局面」、「掀起革命」，甚至「翻盤」。at odds指不一致、矛盾，也指人們不合、不對盤。
馬克白夫人（Lady Macbeth） 是莎士比亞四大悲劇之一「馬克白」裡的角色，她成功慫恿丈夫馬克白暗殺蘇格蘭國王鄧肯（King Duncan） 並自立為王，已成為「殘酷而工於心計，尤其是掌控意志薄弱男性的女人」的典型代表。強生除發表對歐巴馬不敬的種族歧視（racist）言語，更將希拉蕊比作馬克白夫人，既刻薄且惡毒，民主黨人不可能輕輕放下，不算這筆帳（brush it aside）。