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Boris Johnson “Man of the Moment” Poised to becoming the Britain’s Next Prime Minister
Boris Johnson “Man of the Moment” Poised to becoming the Britain’s Next Prime Minister
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By - Adedoyin Shittu

Posted - 14-06-2019

Having been the poster boy of the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson looks poised to become next British Prime Minister.

After failing to deliver her most important assignment, BREXIT, Theresa May stepped down as leader of the ruling Conservative party. Faced with mounting pressure, Mrs May announced her departure on June 7 and said she will stay on until a successor is chosen.

During her time as leader of the conservative party, the Brexit deal was rejected on three separate occasions by the MPs and all attempts to get them to fall in line were in vain.

The end of her stay in office was spelled by ministerial resignations and parliamentary rebellions including the resignation of Boris Johnson, the party preferred candidate to replace Mrs May.

In a race to choose who to succeed Theresa May as the next leader of the ruling Conservative party and the Prime Minister of the country, Boris Johnson tops the race by racking 114 votes out of 341.

The landslide victory gave him 33.4% of the total vote leaving the remaining nine contestants to share 66.6% votes.

HOW THE VOTES WAS SHARED

Johnson received 114 votes, significantly more than his nearest rival Jeremy Hunt, who came a distant second with 43.  Michael Gove was third with 37 votes, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab picked up 27, Home Secretary Sajid Javid won 23 votes, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock had 20. International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart came a close seventh place with 19 votes after running an original social media campaign that endeared him to more liberal party members and the British public at large.

The three other candidates namely Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey, were unable to secure a minimum of 17 breakthrough votes making them unqualified for the next round of votes.

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Further ballots are scheduled to take place on 18, 19 and 20 June to trim down the contenders until left with two. The final pair will then be put to a vote of members of the wider Conservative Party from 22 June, with the winner expected to be announced about four weeks later.

Boris Johnson was heavily criticised by rivals for not giving any television interviews or held public events, in a bid to avoid gaffes that could hurt his chances in the polls. 

Simply known as “Boris” in most of Britain, Mr Johnson has had a prominent presence in politics since the late 1980s, as a columnist, journalist, editor, and media personality. He continued his journalistic career even while serving as a member of Parliament and mayor of London. He became the poster face for Brexiteers and won the backing of many Brexiteer Conservatives by promising Britain will quit the EU by October 31, 2019, with or without a divorce deal.

 

BORIS JOHNSON POLICIES TOWARDS KEY AREAS

Brexit

  • Wants to leave on 31 October, the deadline for Brexit set by the EU, with or without a deal. He admits a no-deal exit will cause “some disruption” but says the “way to get a good deal is to prepare for no deal”.
  • Wants to remove the backstop from any deal and replace it with “alternative arrangements”.
  • Says he would withhold the £39bn “divorce” payment the UK is due to give the EU as part of the negotiated deal. He says the money will be retained until there is “greater clarity about the way forward”.

Tax and Spending

  • Pledges to cut income tax for people earning more than £50,000 by raising the 40% tax threshold to £80,000.
  • Says it will benefit three million people and would cost £9.6bn a year.
  • Plans to pay for the cut partly from a pot set aside by the Treasury for a possible no-deal Brexit, and partly by increasing employee National Insurance payments.

Health and Education

  • Promises to raise spending on secondary school pupils to £5,000 each.
  • Called the funding gap between some schools in cities compared to those in rural areas a “disturbing reality”.
  • Has previously said money spent on the EU could be put into the NHS.

HOW A “NO Deal” COULD HURT THE UK

On the race to deliver Brexit, Boris knows that a no-deal exit will be painful, but probably believes that the experts’ forecasts are exaggerated.

The EU is Britain important trade partner as it accounts for nearly half the country international trade and trade with other countries outside the EU is structured through EU trade agreements. Experts believes that leaving without an agreement would have disastrous consequences for businesses, create chaos at the borders, drive up food prices and lead to a shortage of essential goods.

Although Britain plans to eliminate import tariffs for many products from the EU for up to a year in the event of a no-deal Brexit, in order to reduce the inflationary hit to consumers. This will only expose many British companies to tougher competition.

Any disruption would hit trade in food hardest, because it is the sector with the highest tariffs and some of the most onerous regulations — with perishable goods vulnerable to brief delays.

Without a bilateral trade deal with the EU, Britain would be subject to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. UK exports would face the same customs checks and tariffs as other countries outside of the EU. Experts agree that the overnight end of frictionless zero-tariff trade would be likely to increase the price of some goods, lead to shortages, and cause significant delays on both sides of the Channel.

Though the UK government says that plans are been made  under way to stockpiling food and medicines and turning parts of the A20 in Dover into a permanent lorry park.

Research carried out by the UK’s own Brexit department suggests that without deals on customs and trade, parts of Britain would run out of food and even medicines within a fortnight of the present agreements lapsing, according to an editorial last year in The Guardian. “And that is not the worst possible scenario: it is one that lies in the middle of the range of possibilities,” the newspaper adds.

In a case of NO DEAL brexit, citizenship right might be watered down for EU citizens.

With respect to the UK and Ireland border, if the UK were to leave without an agreement in place, Ireland would come under huge pressure from the EU to exert customs and immigration controls. Although the UK has maintained that there will be no hard border between itself and the Republic.

The Pound Sterling might suffer a free fall if No deal happens because of market uncertainty.

The Bank of England says a smooth transition to a deal would cause market participants to “expect a smaller hit to U.K. real incomes than currently, causing the exchange rate to appreciate. In contrast, a disruptive withdrawal from the EU would inspire more pessimistic views, pushing down sterling.

Since the referendum in June 2016, the UK government has signalled it is looking to strengthen ties with countries outside the EU like China, India, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This will have little effect on the countries economy because they will be bound by the WTO.

With respect to the relationship between the UK and it neighbouring EU countries, the problem of Brexit is far from resolved and coming up with a solution that will define the future relationship of the UK. Mr Boris is heading for a combactive approach which will severe relationship and also bring a NO DEAL.

Brexit is a divorce, a case of bitter divorce will definitely do the country more harm in the continent.

European headlines trailing Boris success in the polls

Headlines in foremost newspapers in Europe have expressed horror at the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming the next prime minister of UK

Le Monde, a French newspaper, in a damaging editorial, said Johnson had shown himself to be “a stranger to logic and convictions” in a career rich in “deceits, blunders and failures”. In the run-up to the 2016 referendum he “told lies on the side of a bus, promised the UK could have its cake and eat it, and compared the EU to the Third Reich,” it said.

The newspaper also liken Boris to a mini-Trump bringing sabotage to the continent, “Britain would become “a hostile principality, built on social, fiscal and environmental deregulation”, it says.

The Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant said “Johnson’s appeal was as a “Brexit-believer, a 21st-century buccaneer, a pirate who surfs the oceans in search of wealth, unconstrained by rules or conventions”. It also said; there was good reason to think Boris “believes rather more in himself than in Brexit”. It also said Johnson’s main strength was that “no scandal seems to stick, be it extramarital affairs, fraudulent statements, offensive utterances or an offer to help an old college friend attack a tabloid journalist.” For the Tories he was “the joker in the card game that Brexit has become”.

Germany’s Handelsblatt said Johnson would be “fatal for Britain”. If he succeeded Theresa May at the end of July, “the UK and the international partners of the fifth largest economy in the world are likely to encounter chaos”.

It said Johnson “has never shied away from making bold promises, few of which he has ever kept”.

Handelsblatt predicted that in the battle for the Tory leadership, Johnson “will promise a lot – and ultimately prove unable to deliver … It is to be hoped that he will be beaten in the race for the premiership. Unfortunately, given Britain’s current pro-Brexit mood, he may not be.”

Spain’s El País cautioned that “the only person capable of defeating Boris Johnson – and there are precedents – is Boris Johnson himself”. The paper said Conservative Eurosceptics had plainly decided to “ignore the many doubts raised by the unpredictable personality of the former mayor of London”.

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