Boris Johnson's All-Male Brexit War Cabinet Shows 'Dangerous Machismo Approach' To Leaving EU

“Women’s voices need to be heard on this crucial issue," say campaigners.

Campaigners have slammed Boris Johnson’s failure to include any women to his Brexit “war cabinet”, saying it adds to his “dangerous machismo approach” to leaving the EU.

It emerged over the weekend that the new prime minister had put together a specialist Brexit strategy committee, made up of six cabinet ministers.

According to reports, Johnson, Michael Gove, chancellor Sajid Javid, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, foreign secretary Dominic Raab and attorney general Geoffrey Cox will meet up twice a week to discuss crucial Brexit plans.

But Johnson’s crack team has been criticised for its lack of gender diversity, with not a single woman – including home secretary Priti Patel – invited to the meetings.

“The inclusion of women shouldn’t be an afterthought,” said Gemma Rosenblatt, head of policy at gender equality charity the Fawcett Society. “Women’s voices need to be heard on this crucial issue.”

She told HuffPost UK: “A no-deal Brexit could mean job losses, cuts to public services, squeezed family budgets and reduced legal protection – these will especially impact women, and particularly so the poorest in the UK.

“If women don’t even make it round the table, how can we be confident their needs will be considered?”

It was a worry echoed by Harini Iyengar, a spokesperson for the Women’s Equality Party.

“Boris Johnson and his team’s framing of the Brexit negotiations as a ‘war’ sets the EU up as an enemy and Johnson a war hero, whatever the outcome,” she said. “Because if we really believe we are at war then we will have to accept there will be casualties.

“Stuffing his war cabinet full of men only exacerbates this dangerous machismo approach. The real tragedy is of course that - unlike the awful loss of men’s lives that usually comes with war - in this scenario it is women who will pay the price for a hard Brexit, just as women paid the price for austerity.”

The criticism comes after Johnson – who became prime minister on Tuesday – appointed his new cabinet, which he dubbed “a cabinet for modern Britain”.


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