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Boris Johnson Now Responsible for Managing Brexit

New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Photo: Arno Mikkor EU2017EE)
New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Photo: Arno Mikkor EU2017EE)

Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson is encouraging the UK to leave the EU without a ‘withdrawal agreement.’

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed Britain closer to a no-deal exit from the European Union on Monday, insisting he will not hold Brexit talks with EU leaders unless the bloc lifts its refusal to reopen the existing divorce deal,” the Associated Press (AP) reported several days ago regarding the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom’s bullish approach towards the tumultuous Brexit situation.

However, as reported by Citizen Truth in April, the Cooper Bill technically makes a ‘no-deal’ Brexit illegal under U.K. law. This means that the U.K. must come to a formal agreement with the European Union (EU) before the October 31st deadline, which came about after EU Council President Donald Tusk oversaw a second article 50 extension for the U.K. in April.

Johnson’s Hurdles Are Daunting

Despite the existence of the Cooper Bill, the AP report continues, “Johnson became prime minister last week after winning a Conservative Party leadership contest by promising the strongly pro-Brexit party membership that the U.K. will leave the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal,” which in itself brings a host of other issues along with it.

The British pound is currently dropping, along with millions of U.K. citizens for a Second Referendum, and the EU having all the negotiating leverage when it comes to the Brexit situation – due to the massive economic power attached to the bloc.
“Johnson has insisted that removal of the “undemocratic” backstop – which would keep Northern Ireland under single market regulations and the whole of the UK in a customs union to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland – is necessary for a deal to be struck on the terms of the UK’s departure,” said The Guardian in reference to another Johnson demand during the negotiating process with the EU, after announcing he was sending his senior EU advisor David Frost to meet with the bloc during the upcoming week.
Peter Flanagan explains in detail the issue with the Irish border, which has become known as the “backstop”:
Both sides agree there should be no physical border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the EU. That’s because a reintroduction of customs controls would impose delays and costs on cross-border trade that’s worth more than 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) a year. Moreover, a return to checkpoints and watchtowers could endanger the region’s hard-won peace.
The Irish government faces a knotty dilemma in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Either it agrees to reinstate the border or runs the risk of being booted out of the European single market. That’s because without border checks, Northern Ireland could be used as a so-called back door into the EU. Brazilian beef, for example, could be shipped to Belfast, moved across an open border and sent seamlessly on to the rest of the EU. Varadkar has described some form of checks as the “price we have to pay” to protect continued Irish access to the EU’s single market. He must therefore convince the rest of the EU that any system of controls not involving border checks would be enough to prevent the single market from being flooded with sub-standard goods.
The hurdles associated with the possibility of the U.K. circumventing the EU through Northern Ireland while leaving the EU is going to remain a topic of tension if the U.K. doesn’t have a Second Referendum or come to some sort of agreement with the EU.

Will Johnson Succeed Where May Failed?

With U.K. sentiment beginning to favor the Social Democratic U.K. Labour Party, where many sitting MPs (Members of Parliament) are openly supportive of a Second Referendum, and Brexit being an ongoing disaster for the Liberal-Conservative Conservative Party, now led by Johnson – it’s unlikely he will have much political capital to change minds with Parliament or the EU.

The Independent conveys the popularity issues Johnson faces due to his threats and handling of the Brexit situation:

 

Boris Johnson’s government is more unpopular after his first week as prime minister than any other incoming administration in the last 40 years, according to a new poll. Three-quarters (75 percent) of voters are already dissatisfied with the new government’s performance, compared to just 18 percent who are satisfied, according to an Ipsos Mori survey.

The net satisfaction rating of -57 is the worst for any incoming government in 40 years of the company’s polling, and is significantly lower than the next worst rating of -31 given to John Major’s new government in December 1990.

The finding is likely to in part reflect ministers’ repeated threats to take Britain out of the EU without a deal on 31 October – a move opposed by half of voters.

 

However, the survey does detail some good news for Johnson as 52% of those asked have faith he would make a better Prime Minister, while 27% said opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party. Yet, only 33% feel Johnson will be able to secure a good Brexit deal for the U.K., while 64% find it unlikely. Another 74% do not expect any deal to be in place by the October 31st deadline.

 

 

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Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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1 Comment

  1. Larry Stout August 5, 2019

    Such a vast disconnection of theory and practice, principle and action, public declarations and motives, in governments.

    Reply

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