Boris Johnson in Number 10: Does he stand a chance of delivering Brexit?


BORIS JOHNSON has hit the ground running with his premiership, appointing a team of Brexiteers and making sweeping promises to deliver Brexit “no ifs or buts”. But will he be successful?

So does Boris stand a chance?

Standing on the doorstep of Downing Street, Boris Johnson vowed to “work flat out to give this country the leadership it deserves”. He said it was time to “restore trust in our democracy” and “fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people” to deliver Brexit on October 31. But, as we’ve seen, there is no easy solution to the Brexit deadlock, and as the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “Confidence and enthusiasm is not a substitute for policy.”

So does Boris stand a chance?

At this stage, it’s difficult to see just how Mr Johnson could realistically succeed in delivering Brexit by October 31.

He said he won’t allow the UK to leave on the current Withdrawal Agreement, but the EU has said it won’t renegotiate.

He said he’d leave without a deal, but Parliament has voted against that.

He said he wouldn’t rule out proroguing Parliament, but MPs voted against this option – and the Queen, who must prorogue Parliament, couldn’t do so without the backing of Parliament.

So, it seems Mr Johnson might end up just as trapped as his predecessor, Theresa May.

The Director of Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies, Alex De Ruyter, told the Express Online: “Johnson very much campaigned for the leadership on delivering Brexit by October 31 come what may, so he is very much boxed into a corner on that.”

He added: “With this current Parliament I don’t think [he will succeed].”

This largely comes down to the loss of Tory outright majority after the disastrous 2017 snap election under Mrs May.

Prof De Ruyter said: “It would only take a few Tory MPs to abstain or cross the floor for a successful no-confidence motion to be held against the Government.

“With Parliament already flexing its muscles to try and prevent no deal, he will either have to change tack or take the highly risky approach of calling an election in the next few months.”

He added the EU would “clearly” not renegotiate and the backstop, which Mr Johnson pledged to convince the EU to “abolish”, would remain in place.

And the EU has not responded well to Mr Johnson’s rhetoric since taking office.

The Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said the Prime Minister’s comments on Thursday made it “a very bad day” for Brexit negotiations.

Leo Varadkar took a more stern tone, saying a “whole new” Brexit deal was “not going to happen” and said the idea of negotiating an entirely new deal “within weeks or months” was “not in the real world”.

So does Boris stand a chance?


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