By N. Peter Kramer
The ball has come out of the scrum and Boris Johnson has been able to claim it. Many people are asking now, what is he going to do with it. Well, he promised to deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Corbyn.
Despite winning with a clear margin, among other by Corbyn, the argument is being put up that he has no ‘mandate’ to take the UK out of the EU. Interesting to read in the Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers comments, that he certainly has a clear mandate for it.
To start with. In 2015, David Cameron promised that, if elected, the Conservatives would hold a decisive in/out referendum on the EU membership. The Conservatives won the elections and returned to government with more votes and MP’s. The EU Referendum Act was passed, with Parliament giving, deliberately and voluntarily, the final decision on the membership of the EU to the British people. We know the result.
In the elections of 2017, the Conservatives won more votes than any party for 25 years, with the clear statement that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. Then the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) was thrice rejected by the Parliament in London. And finally, in the European elections of this year, the WA was spectacularly rejected by the country too.
Prime-Minister May was the biggest loser, and with her the Conservatives recording their worst ever result in a national election because of May’s defending the WA. The big winner was Farage with his Brexit Party. This party topped the polls and won every region in England and Wales outside London. It was a crystal-clear demonstration of how strong and how widespread the view is that the UK must leave the EU by October 31.
Of course, a good deal remains the optimal outcome. With de WA dead, Johnson can focus on a trade deal, in the best interest of both UK and EU. Let’s not forget that a no-deal will deliver a disaster in some (important) EU memberstates. Although it seems, that the mandarins in the ivory tower called Berlaymont ignore that.
‘No-deal is nothing to fear’, wrote Owen Paterson, a former environment secretary. ‘it is a complete misnomer. Many practical side-agreements have already been agreed; the shrill pronouncements of Project Fear have failed to materialise. Planes will fly. Medicines will arrive. The Channel tunnel will remain open.’
Wait and see!