Henry Kissinger has questioned Boris Johnson’s leadership over the “execution” of Brexit as the Government prepares to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The veteran US statesman commended the Prime Minister’s “astounding” achievement in altering “the direction of Britain on Europe”, which he predicted would go down as “one of the important transitions in history”.
However, the 99-year-old told the Sunday Times Magazine that “it often happens that people who complete one great task can’t apply their qualities to the execution of it”; a skill which he suggested “is how to institutionalise it”.
He went on to say that the quality of leadership more generally is not “appropriate to the challenge”.
The former US secretary of state previously said that Brexit could strengthen Britain’s relationship with the US, telling a London conference in 2017 that “even if some links to Europe are being severed other links will be built with the United States”.
He warned the year before that the EU “should not treat Britain as an escapee from prison but as a potential compatriot”.
It comes as the Government is set to introduce a Bill in the Commons on Monday which will allow ministers to unilaterally override parts of the Protocol.
Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, will continue with Downing Street’s fightback by tabling legislation that will remove checks on goods travelling between the UK and Northern Ireland, a move expected to prompt fury from the EU.
Unionists in Northern Ireland are vociferously opposed to the Protocol, claiming it has undermined the region’s place within the United Kingdom.
The DUP has blocked the formation of a new power-sharing government at Stormont following last month’s Assembly election in protest at the Protocol.
The Bill will see the Government move without the consent of the EU to change the terms of the international treaty in a bid to reduce the checks on the movement of goods across the Irish Sea.
The EU has made clear that such a step would represent a breach of international law and could prompt retaliatory action from the bloc.