Boris Johnson was receiving the Irving Kristol Award, which is given for "notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare" at the American Enterprise Institute, when he addressed social mobility and Britain's future.
"Social mobility. If you think back to the great achievements of the Thatcher era, it was about helping people to seize control of their own destiny. It was about buying shares or buying their own homes… We need to recover that momentum. One of the reasons people voted to Leave was because they felt they were not getting a fair suck of the sauce bottle, as they say. People are stuck in entry-level jobs and they're not progressing," Mr. Johnson argued.
Tractor Beam of Brussels
The former FM and current member of British parliament, Mr. Johnson has been rumored to have his eye on the Westminster throne, having rebuked the PM Theresa May's Chequers plan and vision for Britain in the future.
In his comments at the DC even, he suggested that British people are "not being made to feel needed enough," which constituted a "serious problem."
"The UK could be about to come loose of the European system of regulation and government… able to campaign for pro-competitive policies. That's the opportunity… There's a conversation going on about how we achieve it, and it is difficult. But the last thing we want now is for us, the Brits, to be sucked back by the tractor beam of Brussels," Mr. Johnson said.
An outspoken Brexiteer and critic of Brussels, the former Cabinet minister has often criticized Theresa May's "soft" approach to Brexit negotiations and has advocated a clean EU exit, which he sees as "taking back control."
Since his resignation from the Cabinet in July, he has championed the theme of global and united Britain. On Thursday, Mr. Johnson also spoke about unity with an analogy that may raise eyebrows in Paris.
"People need to come together. The best thing possible to unify the country would have been if we'd beaten the French in the World Cup. That was my plan. It's back to the drawing board… We came fourth," the politician said.
So proud of the team — they’ve done our country proud. Will come home to a much deserved heroes' welcome. 🦁🦁🦁 🏴— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 11, 2018
Mr. Johnson is expected to keep up the condemning rhetoric regarding the Chequers plan in an attempt to change the PM's mind.
It is unclear whether his venture to impact the government strategy will have any effect or be perceived with seriousness by the members of Theresa May's Cabinet. Following his performance as a Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson has gained a reputation for gaffes and saying the wrong things at the wrong time.
During the Thursday event in Washington DC, Mr. Johnson argued that the point is to keep saying things, even if the media find them outrageous.
"In the course of the last few minutes I've probably said something that the British media will decide is absolutely outrageous. I don't know what it will be. But they'll find something, believe me. The thing is to keep saying them."