British PM Boris Johnson has provoked social media ire after branding critics of an impending trade deal with Donald Trump’s United States as “juvenile anti-Americans,” insisting that they should “grow up and get a grip.”
In a speech in Greenwich, London on Monday to outline the kind of trading arrangements Britain will be seeking with the EU and the rest of the world, Johnson said that he “shared the optimism of President Trump” on a UK-US post-Brexit trade deal. He specifically hit out at critics of Trump’s America, who have voiced concerns about the lowering of regulations and standards in any potential deal struck between the two allies.
“I say to all the naive and juvenile anti-Americans in this country… I say grow up and get a grip.”
The harsh remarks prompted a number of combative responses from people on social media who took offense at Johnson’s jibe. “People aren’t anti-American, they are anti-Trump,”tweeted one person.
Others picking up on his “juvenile” dig argued that they were simply showing concerns over the possibility Trump could be “circling around the NHS” – Britain’s treasured healthcare system – with “big [US] pharma wanting a slice of the pie.” Johnson was also accused of being “desperate” by seemingly “groveling to Trump” with such comments.
However, there were those who agreed with Johnson with some claiming the “anti-American sentiment” from certain sections of the British public was “petty and embarrassing.”
Johnson also had a message for the “conspiracy theorists” who suggest he is about to allow the NHS to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the US. He said: “[To] all those believers in the Bermuda Triangle or believe that Elvis is shortly to be found on Mars, it goes without saying that the NHS is not on the table.”
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