Boris Johnson’s Great Balancing Act

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at 10 Downing Street on September 5, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Amid British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s very tough week, he received a friendly emissary from the United States: Vice President Mike Pence.

According to the New York Times, Pence cited the “very warm and personal relationship you have forged with President Trump.”

That warm and personal relationship may prove to be more burden than boon as Johnson faces down a possible election against the Labour Party in coming weeks.

Trump is deeply unpopular in Britain and, per the Times, critics say that the country will becoming increasingly dependent on the mercurial Trump if it crashes out the European Union without agreeing to a deal.

Johnson’s awareness of the tenuousness of his own position was clear in his response to Pence’s promise of trade talks.

“You guys are pretty tough negotiators, so we are going to work very hard to make sure that the free trade deal is one that works for all sides,” he said.

The fickle Trump, for his part, had continued to stand by his brother in blondness, even as Johnson’s real sibling jumped ship.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: