Britain’s future

Published: July 22, 2019
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The United Kingdom is all set for its next prime minister. And unless all the predictions and political calculations are wrong, the Conservative Party is most likely going to pick Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, for the top job at 10 Downing Street.

Johnson will be the third Tory prime minister since 2016. Both his predecessors lost their job because of sheer miscalculation or inability to deliver Britain’s messy divorce with Brussels.

While his rock-star like ability to turn heads and his hardline position on Europe has propelled him to the position of the clear front-runner in the prime minister’s race, Boris might not last too long in Downing Street.

And the internal party revolt that resulted in Theresa May’s political demise has already begun. Boris may have promised Britain’s exit from Europe but he will be haunted by the same issues that resulted in May’s failure.

Britain’s next prime minister, whose political reputation has risen and fallen innumerable times during his career, is likely to struggle with the complex Brexit situation and the arguments over leaving Europe with or without a renegotiated deal.

Unfortunately, parliamentary arithmetic is not on Boris’s side just like it wasn’t on his predecessor’s side. May’s removal has not changed the political complexities that have divided British lawmakers over the past few years.

The future Boris government is likely to be weak and knowing British political norms, it is safe to predict that Downing Street is only occupied by the leader who commands a majority in parliament. With the foreseeable revolt within the party that Boris is expected to lead, there is very little chance that his stint as prime minister would last long.

The Conservative Party will face the general election very soon and might even lose it under the leadership of Boris Johnson. Perhaps that might pave the way for Britain’s exit from Europe in a manner that is approved by the British people.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22, 2019.

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