July 23rd 2019 by

Boris Johnson ascends the UK Parliamentary Throne.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson today became the leader of the Conservative Party and in doing so will achieve his lifelong dream of becoming Prime Minister of Britain after Mrs Theresa May's last day tomorrow. Johnson assumes the mantle at a time when Britain's political landscape is not defined by it's traditional demarcation lines, class, north-south divide, left-right, but by one issue alone. Brexit. The post 2016 Brexit vote has split the country apart and the Remainers, who will not accept the Brexit result, have demonstrated, attacked and schemed to have Article 50 revoked.

Johnson has ascended to the Parliamentary throne in the most uncertain of times. It is not clear how, with a working majority that subsequent to the upcoming Brecon and Radnorshire by-election will be a mere 1, he can make good on his promise, to deliver a Deal or No-Deal Brexit by October 31st, 'Do-or-Die'. This is a promise so unequivocal that even the flexible Mr. Johnson might find great difficulty wriggling off a hook which he baited and eagerly swallowed.

What options are open to the new Prime Minister? If he intends to engage in a poker game with Brussels, playing Theresa May's hand in the hope he can turn up an ace it is nearly certain that Messr. Barnier will call his bluff and deal him a joker. His cards may be marked in more than one way. Brussels knows that no matter how 'firm' the UK Prime Minster claims to be on the 31st October deadline and regardless of how the country feels, there is not support in Parliament for a No-Deal exit and with such a tight majority in the House there is no need for Brussels to show more compassion to Johnson than they did Theresa May. A plausible option is that the new Prime Minister is more likely to employ a Churchillian appeal to the country in the form of an early General Election, when he can run on a positive, unifying message hoping to sway Conservative voters to return to the fold and give him a chance to deliver by the 31st October. This runs the risk of a humiliating defeat and the very briefest of Premiership's, however, it may sit better with his ego rather than be known as just another failed Conservative leader who could not deliver Brexit. Given the problems the main opposition Labour Party currently have, accusations of anti-semitism, a none too popular, nor decisive leader in Jeremy Corbyn, now might be the time for Johnson to consolidate his and the Conservative Party's position in Parliament. However, Boris Johnson has indicated he wants to deliver Brexit before calling a General Election. Is the gamble that Brussels will hear the new Prime Minister's do-or-die rhetoric and be more amenable to compromise?

In pre-Brexit peacetime Britain there has never before been such a time when a Prime Minister, a Parliament and indeed a Country have effectively been held hostage by one issue such as they have since the 2016 Brexit vote. Can Prime Minister Johnson be the man to achieve what many consider nigh impossible? Can he rally his own Party and the Country round his standard and resolve this issue allowing Britain to move forward? Boris Johnson may not be playing with all the chips in this poker game with Brussels and the deck may be stacked aginst him, but the stakes could not be higher. This is much more than Leave or Remain. This is about sovereignty and the future of democracy as we understand it.

What Boris Johnson held only as a dream he now holds in his hands. He must now live that dream. His time has come. He now must prove his standard bearers correct, his doubters wrong and his dream worthwhile.


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