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It’s a simple question.
Who do YOU trust to best deliver on the outcome of the 2016 EU Referendum?
Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage?
With the Conservative Party leadership race in full swing, Boris Johnson has made it clear that the UK will leave the EU by 31st October 2019. He defines this as a “do or die” issue for his party and is adamant that it must be delivered. He has added that he thinks the chance of a WTO Brexit is “one in a million” and instead says he is focused on delivering a brand new “Deal” with the EU that he can then get through Parliament in time to hit the target date.
The EU continues to insist there will be no renegotiation of the Treaty (“WithDrawal Agreement) that May tried to put in place but which was rejected three times in Parliament.
In essence, Boris Johnson is asking you to believe that he will negotiate an entirely NEW deal with the EU which it says it does not want and if this does not happen then he will take every measure to push a “No Deal” through a steadfastly Remain Parliament which opposes such an outcome.
Being an affable personality may well be an asset for Boris but being plausible is also crucial. There are several Conservative MPs who are on record stating that they WILL oppose a WTO Brexit even if it means bringing down their own Government. This all points to Boris either stalling or being stalled and the likelihood of him delivering on his solemn promise seems remote. And this is the best Brexit outcome the Conservatives offer. Jeremy Hunt has made it clear he will deliver ‘Brexit” but he would not want to push a WTO Brexit through Parliament and that he does see October 31st as an absolute deadline.
By contrast, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has just held a monster rally in Birmingham. Listening to the various speakers, there is a remarkable contrast to the Conservatives. Farage and his team are ENTHUSIASTIC about delivering Brexit as they see it as the key to unlocking UK global and domestic opportunity. This contrasts with the Boris approach of seeing Brexit as an awkward issue to be managed and gotten around. Farage is very clear that his Party actively wants a WTO Brexit, and that it does not seek any deal with the EU ahead of the 31st October. There is real clarity in the Brexit Party position, a simplicity in the message and it is now being fine-tuned for a possible General Election by year end.
The contrast between the two approaches is dramatic and existential.
With Labour seeking to move to a full Remain position in order to garner lost votes to the “Bollocks to Brexit” LibDems, and Jeremy Hunt doing a very credible impersonation of Theresa May, the battle for the soul of Conservative Leave voters is visceral and the Brexit Party seem much closer to it than Boris. With millions of Labour voters being set up for abandonment by the North London Labour elitists, there is also fertile ground for the Brexit Party to make serious electoral inroads.
By the end of this month, the Conservative Party will most likely have elected Boris Johnson to succeed Theresa May. But the Parliament he faces will look exactly the same and the EU says it will be holding to the same May Deal that Boris has explicitly rejected. August and September will see feverish political activity by the Johnson administration but will it end up as sound and fury, signifying nothing? Will it all end up in Parliamentary deadlock with Johnson’s will subverted by the Remain Parliament? Will he prorogue Parliament in order to push a No Deal through? Could he do so without creating a constitutional crisis? Will he choose a General Election instead? Dare he – do so given the Brexit Party’s surging big vision?
It will all come down to trust. Who will you trust?