A scandal-proof serial promise-breaker whose arrival at No 10 would be “a calamity for his country and for Europe”.
“A stranger to logic and convictions” in a career rich in “deceits, blunders and failures”, he “told lies on the side of a bus, promised the UK could have its cake and eat it, and compared the EU to the Third Reich”
As foreign secretary he “made his country an object of ridicule around the world with his amateurism, flippancy and ignorance”
Johnson’s “jingoistic rhetoric” promised Britons an unrealistic “glorious global future”.
His threat to withhold the €39bn Brexit divorce settlement would have “incalculable consequences”, damaging the international credibility of a country priding itself on being a champion of the rule of law.
A Johnson premiership would mean “a mini-Trump across the Channel, dedicated to its sabotage”. Britain would become “a hostile principality, built on social, fiscal and environmental deregulation.”
A “Brexit-believer, a 21st-century buccaneer, a pirate who surfs the oceans in search of wealth, unconstrained by rules or conventions”, he “believes rather more in himself than in Brexit”.
“No scandal seems to stick, be it extramarital affairs, fraudulent statements, offensive utterances or an offer to help an old college friend attack a tabloid journalist.” For the Tories he was “the joker in the card game that Brexit has become”.
Johnson would be “fatal for Britain”. If he succeeded Theresa May at the end of July, “the UK and the international partners of the fifth largest economy in the world are likely to encounter chaos”.
Johnson “has never shied away from making bold promises, few of which he has ever kept”. He will continue in this vein because “his sole chance of becoming prime minister is if he meets the expectations of the Brexit hardliners”.
Johnson “will promise a lot – and ultimately prove unable to deliver … It is to be hoped that he will be beaten in the race for the premiership. Unfortunately, given Britain’s current pro-Brexit mood, he may not be.”
“The only person capable of defeating Boris Johnson – and there are precedents – is Boris Johnson himself”. The paper said Conservative Eurosceptics had plainly decided to “ignore the many doubts raised by the unpredictable personality of the former mayor of London”.
Johnson’s campaign was “very calculated, with minimal media appearances and an attempt to convey the seriousness and rigour he has lacked in recent years”, he appeared “much more focused and determined than three years ago”. But he may not be able to dodge his “past mistakes and gaffes” so easily.
“Trump’s poodle: a liar who does not pay attention to the detail of reality, tells people what they want to hear and relies on their ignorance”.
Johnson exemplified the “collapse of rationality, of the relationship between the facts and what we believe” in present-day politics. “What he is offering is impossible.”
Corriere della Sera
The Guardian, Jon Henley, 13 June 2019