The Conservatives Party bagged a historic victory last week, paving way for the installation of Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister. Johnson returns to Downing Street with a stronger mandate this time. And from the looks of it, he may have pulled an extraordinary political manoeuvre.
After all, the man took over a party that was losing its position. The Tories were being challenged by the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats. So kudos to Johnson for saving the party of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher from being relegated to oblivion. But the reality for modern-day Britain hasn’t changed much since the election. The country still faces the January 31 deadline for its long-awaited departure from the EU. While Johnson has the majority in the Parliament to push the necessary legislation through, and there is no reason to think won’t happen on schedule, the prime minister still has to negotiate the “ambitious” trade agreement with the EU. On the other hand, Johnson has assured that he will not extend the transition period, creating a crunch point, in less than a year.
Over the next few weeks, the prime minister will be required to begin negotiations on trade. If the trade deal between Britain and the EU fails to pass through the parliament, which is a requirement, Britain will then have to seek another extension in the transition period, which goes against Johnson’s promised stance on the exit. With that, the prime minister is left with only one option, and that is to leave the union without a trade deal.
So for those hoping to hear no more about Britain’s longest nightmare after January 31, there is nothing but disappointment. Britain’s long national nightmare is far from over, and there are many challenges before it is achieved. For now, Boris Johnson has every reason to celebrate his party’s win and that he should. But over the next few weeks and months, Johnson will be haunted by his self-imposed time pressure.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2019.
Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.