Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

Boris Johnson (on the right), PM Theresa May (in the middle). Photo from www.boris-johnson.com/

The British Conservative Party is now busy electing a new President and by the same token the new Prime Minister of UK. This is an exemplary democratic exercise but under the current conditions it also turns to be a tricky procedure. For one thing, the outcome of the long selection process becomes every day more and more predictable.

At the same time, though, this is a political party, which at the last European election of Thursday 23 May won just 8% of the votes. This was a rather humiliating ballot because the UK was forced to carry it out, despite exiting the club. Yet, the party of a mere 8% is most probably about to elect the controversial, to say the least, Boris Johnson, as its leader, automatically installing him at 10 Downing St. as PM of the UK. Yet, this awkward politician says he will meet head-on all the other 27 EU leaders as if he had just won the Battle of Waterloo.

A question not asked

Still, nobody in Britain has posed the obvious question. It’s about the discrepancy between the inward-looking procedures of the Conservative Party and the flagrant denial of 82% of the UK voters to place their confidence in this political group and its leader, whoever it may be. As a result, Boris Johnson’s plan to ‘corner’ the European Union of 27 countries about the terms of the Brexit, looks like a hoax. He has gone as far as to dismiss his country’s obligations of around $50 billion to the EU. This amount stems from a divorce the mere UK has asked for and not the EU.

The sum was negotiated and agreed upon by the two teams representing the UK and the EU. Then Prime Minister Theresa May and her government undersigned this agreement and the financial part of it became an outstanding obligation. The French President Emmanuel Macron very characteristically commented that in case Britain doesn’t honor her debt to the EU, it will constitute a credit default haunting the entire country. During the last three years, though, Johnson has aired a lot more nasty lies about the EU, aimed at caressing the ears of his fellow wild Brexiteer Brits.

Boris for 10 Downing Street

Yet, this absurdish political figure and divisive politician is about to succeed Theresa May in 10 Downing Street, actively preparing to ‘corner’ the entire continental Europe. He very probably visualizes himself as the Duke of Wellington about to obliterate Napoleon. He forgets, however, that this time the Prussians under Angela Merkel will join and fight alongside the French, not the Brits.

The discussion about who is and what Boris Johnson can do becomes every day more and more pertinent. The progression of the procedure within the Tories to elect a new leader seems to sketch day after day all too clearly Boris’ portrait. In the latest instance even one of his rivals and co-contender in the leadership race loudly backed him – Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. Hancock, after dropping out of the competition to succeed Theresa May said “Johnson is the best candidate to lead the party”.

He needs them all

Hancock left the race after winning only 20 votes in the first ballot of the 314 Conservative MPs. The first phase of the election procedure takes place in the context of the parliamentary group of the Party. The lawmakers participate in a series of votes planned to do away with the candidatures of all but two contenders. In the second phase of the election process, all the 190,000 Conservative Party members will choose their leader between the two remaining contenders.

If Johnson arrives at the last stage, which is a rather sure thing, he most certainly is to win the race and automatically relocate to 10 Downing St. Hancock, in an article in the Times newspaper added “Boris has run a disciplined campaign and is almost certainly going to be our next prime minister…People need to put aside their differences for a greater purpose. My view is that we need to start coming together sooner rather than later”.

Supported by the majority

Hancock is not the only prominent Tory minister and MP to openly back Johnson. Sometimes, the political outlook becomes very predictable. The prospect of also being present in the next UK government prompts many misters like Hancock serving under Theresa May to back Boris. This process solidifies day in day out.

Under this light, the adversaries of the Johnson candidature in the Tory MPs camp are adopting now a new conciliatory strategy. They say it’s better to be part of the winning team in order to be able to influence the new government’s policy.  As a BBC analyst puts it “Plenty of MPs who worry about what he might do in office are joining his camp in order to stop him from veering off to the right – in the words of one, ‘to anchor’ him in the middle ground. To be the Boris Johnson of City Hall in the late 2000s, not the Boris Johnson who has politically flirted with Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon”.

Need to defeat Labor

In short, the entire Tory party seems to be aligning behind Boris Johnson not only in view of Brexit. They also prepare to fight in the next legislative election, to defeat Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party and to win back the parliamentary majority. If the efforts of the Tory ‘centrists’ bare tangible results, Boris Johnson is very likely to be a different political ‘persona’ after crossing the door of 10 Downing Street, this time as incumbent.

In this respect, the no-deal Brexit that Johnson brandishes may not be as catastrophic as many think. It may contain even the European Economic Area, the purpose of which is to extend the EU’s internal market to countries in the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).

A free trade area?

An EEA Agreement does not establish binding provisions in all sectors of the internal market or in all other policies under the EU Treaties. If, however, it is going to be full access to the EU internal market the UK may have to continue contributing to the European Union budget, probably along the lines of the divorce cost payments.

As things stand, the procedure to elect a new Tory leader and Prime Minister of UK is probably about to produce the no-deal Brexit Boris Johnson. Nevertheless, he will be obliged to reunite the party, so he will need all and every Tory MP. In doing so his no-deal Brexit may look a bit less threatening, because it’s the entire British economy that needs a mild exit and many Tory MPs are defending that.

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