Topic: @BorisJohnson – the last #UK Prime Minister?

This article first appeared on Broadsheet.ie on July 30th, 2019. Any optimism that existed in my previous article from a week before was, by now, gone 

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This day last week Boris Johnson became the new leader of the Tory party. Profiling him here I described Johnson as the incoming Prime Minister of the slowly disunifying United Kingdom.

A few days later the SNP leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford MP, described Johnson in even starker and bleaker terms hailing him as the last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Comments over the last few days suggest that Blackford may well be close to the truth.

Last week I hoped that Johnson might use his admiration for Churchillian rhetoric to define – for the first time ever – what Brexit means.

Johnson had a very small window in which to set out a deliverable form of Brexit and give Britain a transition period during which it could have the best of both worlds. It would be fully out of the political and administrative institutions of the European Union. Out of the Parliament, the Commission and the Council, but would still have the economic benefits of membership while it negotiated the terms of its future arrangement.

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So… it’s Boris

This article was written within hours of Boris Johnson winning the Tory leadership. Looking back on it I am intrigued at how optimistic I was that Johnson would avail of the opportunity to define Brexit in terms that were deliverable for the UK. I see that I concluded saying that the following days would tell a lot. Regrettably they did and none of it was good.

It first appeared on Broadsheet.ie on July 23rd 2019.

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So, it’s Boris. I suppose, if I want to be true to the spirit of Boris Johnson, I should have written two columns on the outcome of the Tory leadership election and not just one.

One for if he wins. One for if he loses. Both claiming with equal and absolute certainty that I knew this would be the outcome.

Instead, I have opted to do it the old-fashioned way and write just the one piece after the result was confirmed.

Today’s selection of Boris Johnson, by a more than two-thirds majority on an almost 90% turnout of the Tory party membership, as the new leader and next prime minister is hardly surprising. At least has not been that surprising since round one of the MPs vote to pick the two final candidates.

His confirmation as Prime Minister of the slowly disuniting Kingdom of Great Britain and parts of Northern Ireland tomorrow afternoon will at the same time, paradoxically, change nothing and everything on Brexit.

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