Tom Goodenough

Boris’s EU summit debut shows why he is the perfect pick for Foreign Secretary

Boris's EU summit debut shows why he is the perfect pick for Foreign Secretary
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After a bit of initial drama involving an emergency plane landing, Boris Johnson is in Brussels. There's been a lot of social media chatter about why Boris is the wrong choice for Foreign Secretary and how he's going to embarrass Britain in his new role. Some are quoting Boris' past articles to prove he is only going to upset those he meets on the world stage - and Boris' prize-winning President Erdogan poem in the Spectator has also gathered much interest. But for all those worrying about the 'damage' Boris is going to do, look instead to the huge interest in his debut at the EU summit to see why he is the perfect choice for the role.

It's important to contrast the huge media scrum which greeted Boris today with the fact that Britain is on its way out of the EU. We've been warned that people would turn their backs on Britain now that we're heading for the door. But instead, Boris' arrival in Brussels has garnered the opposite effect: people are genuinely interested in what Boris has to say.

So with the media hanging on his every word, is he embarrassing Britain? Is he managing to upset our neighbours who already think Britain is turning its back on the EU? No, far from it! Instead, he's putting across the message that Britain is open for business. Here's what he said:

'The message I'll be taking to our friends in the Council is that we have to give effect to the will of the people and leave the European Union but that in no sense means that we are leaving Europe. We (are) not going to be going to be in any way abandoning our leading role in European co-operation and participation of all kinds'

And in contrast to if it wasn't Boris putting the message across, people are actually listening. Yes, Philip Hammond may have been a safe pair of hands when he was Foreign Secretary. But, to put it mildly, he doesn't have the same 'A-list' status as Boris does. Some are waiting for Boris to trip up and get Britain into trouble. He won't. But whilst his sense of humour might be edgy, we should be excited and relieved that people are actually listening to Boris put a message across which those around the world need to hear.