Britain experienced another change in Prime Minister last month. Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson gained the position by winning the election for leader of the party (currently the dominant party in the nation). Mr. Johnson is the third Prime Minister the U.K. has had since it voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.
Brexit is by far the biggest issue Mr. Johnson is facing. When campaigning, he promised Britain would leave the EU by the October 31st deadline, with or without a deal. Doing so has essentially dug a hole for himself. Mr. Johnson’s predesecor, Theresa May, failed to do so in her two years in office, leading to her resignation. Mr. Johnson’s motivation for renegotiating a deal with the EU is to avert having a hard (high security) border with Ireland. By electing to withdraw from the union, Britain could lose the easy mobility between nations that EU members enjoy. The EU has stated the deal under Theresa May is final and that there will be no renegotiation, so Mr. Johnson is facing a daunting task.
Mr. Johnson has been criticized by opponents for his willingness to undermine democracy. In the event that a deal does not seem likely, he has not eliminated the option to suspend parliament. If this were to happen, the deadline would pass and Britain would withdraw from the EU, and Parliament would have no influence on the outcome. If no deal were to be reached or the previously stated scenario occurs, the opposing party may call for a vote of no confidence to oust Mr. Johnson from office. However, this would require members of his own party to do the same, as the conservative party holds the majority in Parliament. Mr. Johnson’s job ultimately depends on his ability to negotiate a new deal. He has been in office for under a month, but whether or not he will still be in office come 2020 remains a mystery.
“Britain Finds Its Bojo.” The Economist, vol. 432, no. 9153, July-Aug. 2019, pp. 48-49.
“Here We Go.” The Economist, vol. 432, no. 9153, July-Aug. 2019, p. 7.
Lawless, Jill, and Danica Kirka. “Boris Johnson to Take Office, Aiming to Win over Doubters.” Associated Press, 24 July 2019, http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/boris-johnson-to-take-office-aiming-to-win-over-doubters/ar-AAEMSDd?item=delivery_service_enabled%3afalse%2cpersonalization_enabled%3afalse.”No-deal
Brexit Preparations ‘Top Priority’, Boris Johnson Says.” BBC News, 9 Aug. 2019. BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49295556. Accessed 11 Aug. 2019.