It has been almost two months since I last blogged on Brexit.
Where I left the story last (see here) the two main cliff hangers were EU election results and the Conservative Party leadership elections. As far as UK EU election results went, while the Brexit Party did exceedingly well, especially given a few weeks previously it didn’t even exist, and it did amazingly better than any other political party, if we take Conservative and Labour out of the equation the anti-Brexit parties still did marginally better than pro-Brexit parties, indicating if nothing else that the nation is far from united on where we go next. While no doubt there has been a lot of behind the scene activity, most eyes have been on who will become Prime Minister.
As far as the Conservative Party election goes, after whittling down to two contenders: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, and a long line of debates and hustings involving the two (actually quite positive in the scheme of things) we learn today that, unsurprisingly, Boris polled 92153 of the 160000 Conservative Party members eligible to vote and Jeremy 46656, leaving Boris as the clear winner. Reactions to the result were unsurprisingly mixed, with the normal suspects taking the stands they did, either a Boris win was the best possible result or it was yet another disaster to add to the long list, much in the way people view Trump, but now Donald has been joined with Boris and together they are the in-power blond terrible twins.
As for me the jury is out – just like it was with Trump but later to be pleasantly surprised. BoJo has his well documented faults, both with his character and his policies, but I reckon as far as running the country goes and delivering on Brexit he is lot better placed to do so than Hunt would have been and Theresa May has been. Whether he can unite a country that is divided and leave the EU on terms that Leave voters had in mind, including no deal, remains to be seen. I am skeptical of course (I generally am) given he adamantly declared the UK will leave the EU on or before October 30th since most of Parliament are against both a No Deal exit and the “final” deal negotiated with the EU that has been already rejected three times, and as far as the EU goes that is the best deal they are prepared to offer. Moreover, I and others won’t forget Boris did vote third time around for what many saw as a bad deal, Irish backstop and all.
As they say, we will soon see and I expect fun and fireworks and the unexpected. Boris has gone on record of not wanting to involve the Brexit Party and their supporters, but my instinct they will yet have a part to pay. I have little doubt there will be twists in the saga still to come, and along with the rest I will watch for that final outcome and the various plots and coups in the offing, hoping he is the real deal and not the con artist some claim. I am also beholden to pray, for entering the Promised Land, post Brexit, requires a miracle.